Protest makes us want to cough up a hairball

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If there's one thing Adages can't abide, it's an unshaven hippie woman. Call us old-fashioned, but if that's how you choose to express your individuality, politics or whatever, you and your hairy armpits should do so in San Francisco or France.

So imagine our dismay when women took over Greely Square in Manhattan on July 10, as part of something called NoScruf, and began flaunting astonishingly hirsute arm pits. These protestors from the National Organization of Social Crusaders Repulsed by Unshaven Faces carried signs that read "We won't shave until you do" and "In your dreams, stubble boy."

But alas, it was all a put-up job. Fake protesters, fake commotion, fake hair. This bit of marketing Lysistrata was organized by Porter Novelli. The protestors urged women passersby to go to NoScruf.org. Designed by Boston's Digitas, the site has a certain Geocities-feel to it. There women can join the "movement."

Of course, such a commotion would be nothing without some irrelevant celebrity endorsement. Kelly Monaco of "Dancing with the Stars" fame and TV personality Brooke Burke made an appearance at the rally. (We call them irrelevant not because of their skills, but because not an unseemly or out-of-place follicle was to be seen on either woman.)

Oddly, even though all of this was being done to support Gillette Fusion, there was nary a mention of the brand at the rally or on the website.

Adages Zagats the Conde cafe

Forget Pret in Bryant Park, fans can find Lauren Weisbergers galore swapping dress tips at this media hangout. Conversation revolves around latest everything: "Have you seen 'Devil Wears Prada' yet?" said one exquisitely dressed young woman to her friend. "I loved it, you should see it." Our visit offered no nuclear Wintour, but plenty of immaculate young straight women and musky metrosexuals. Food stations are a veritable party mixer, with plenty of cheek kissing and "Hey, love that handbag," greetings. Don't be fazed by the off-putting promotions at the door, such as the new coffee drink with beans in a Martini glass being pushed during our lunchtime outing; it's simply the latest marketer fighting to serve hungry influentials from Gourmet to Teen Vogue. Most popular food station? Sushi, silly. At the salad bar choose from chopped jimica and cucumber or orzo and olives. (No garlic allowed, Si doesn't like it.) "Value bags" for $4.99 offer a bottle of water, a multigrain roll and tuna or chicken salad. Hot bar offers veggie or meat burgers and-Oh! My! God!-french fries (guess they have to feed the Size Sixes something). Small dessert racks are crowded with cookies, cakes and death-by confections of chocolate and coffee-mousse moons. The only place this cafe fails is perhaps one of the most important (Hint: Bring your own Starbucks). Reservations: No. Atmosphere: Trendy. Prices: Free if you know someone with a Condecard.

CBS makes fowl play

How many rotten-egg jokes can one company lay in a single press release? George Schweitzer, president-CBS Marketing Group, recently hatched a few. "We're egg-cited about this egg-clusive opportunity," said Schweitzer, about something the company is calling "egg-vertising." The network is promoting its fall lineup on fresh eggs. Working with Chicago-based time-stamp company EggFusion, CBS will print messages on 35 million eggs to be sold in the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago TV markets. The promotion starts November with messages such as "CSI: Crack the Case on CBS," "CBS Mondays: Leave the Yolks to Us" and "CBS Mondays: Shelling Out Laughs." Corny? Eggs-actly.

Wal-Mart agencies seeing red

After some meddling journalists went snooping around the Wal-Mart RFP a few weeks back, the follow-up brief issued last week by SRI was issued only in a single hard copy, which was printed on red paper so it can't be copied or faxed. We're sure the agencies were thrilled with that move, as one of our favorite pastimes is trying to read black ink on red paper. Then again, if we were pitching Wal-Mart, we'd probably keep our traps shut.

Contributing: Claire Atkinson, Meredith Deliso Get a close shave with kwheaton@crain.com
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