'Tango' looks for love in odd places

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This should be interesting. In one of those efforts that magazines make to keep media buyers engaged, Tango is soliciting love advice from media and agency folks. The contest is called "Love Bytes" and it's a riff on the magazine's "Tango Conversation," which every issue offers quotes on love from everyone from Charlie Brown to Nietzsche (boy, that's an interesting pair to talk about love). Need some guidance? Andrea Miller, president and founder of Tango, offered that to her, "To be loved is to receive a lifetime of immunity from negative coverage on Page Six." (For that you don't need love, you just need $100,000 investment in an ugly clothing line.) Editor in Chief Hilary Black, on the other hand, is keeping an eye out for Robert Frost. "I'd go with something more like, 'Love is the irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly.'" (Remember, Hilary, these are buyers, not copywriters). In return for sage advice, the grand-prize winner, the wisest of the wise, gets a diamond-dial watch valued at over $5,000. Adages offers this entry: "Who needs loves when you've got $5,000 worth of diamonds?"

Quit playing around

Here at Adages we think one of our rules for dating applies to word of mouth and buzz marketing: We don't mind games, but we don't like being played. Last week, we received quite a number of e-mails directing us to this "cool" online game at youngguns-vsoldones.com, which pits some hipsterish-looking cats from Strawberry Frog, Wieden & Kennedy, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Naked and Mother against holding-company suits. Weapons? TV, print, word of mouth and Internet. We're big fans of time-wasting Web games and we were happy to give this one a whirl. But the FAQ describes the game as a "simple jump-and-run game with no jumping." Exactly. No jumping. And not much else for that matter. And while we imagine the crude graphics appeal to the nostalgia of the "We Love the '80s" set, we sort of expected more-especially if the game's creators, Truth Dare Double Dare, are going to try to sell ad space in the game. Hey, here's a couple of ideas: a first-person shooter (think "Doom") starring Donny Deutsch or a really bloody martial-arts battler ("Mortal Kombat") featuring Martin Sorrell and Ron Berger. Now that we'd play.

Right in the ol' bread basket

"His name is Doh Boy and his mission is to take the fat back out of bread." So reads the introductory copy for the latest hero in the food wars. If you haven't heard of Doh Boy, who comes in his own little baking pan, or even that there was a battle about stealth fats in breads, that may be because the fight is being waged by U.K. company Howies. According to Howies, there will an army of 500 Doh Boys "blogging, podcasting, marching and writing good old-fashioned letters." We suggest D.B. focus more on the marching than the other things. For a guy who's supposed to lecture folks about fat, he seems a little, shall we say, portly.

Offshore accounts

Yes, there is life after advertising. While one Adages correspondent was vacationing in Tortola, she met up with Michael Domican, formerly an account director at Agency.com and Grey Worldwide. Mr. Domican traded in the relative pallor of Madison Avenue four years ago for the tropical flourish of the British Virgin Islands. "I was working on an airline account when planes started flying into buildings. The downturn in ad spend that followed gave me the push I needed to go do something that was personally more satisfying. Now I make a fraction of what I used to but get much more pleasure." Now a sailing instructor with the OffShore Sailing School, Domican still dabbles in advertising: outdoor via t-shirts and word-of-mouth by way of restaurant recommendations.

Adventures in TV production

We're not sure what it is about craigslist.org classifieds that brings out the seemier side of people. Take, for example, a Help Wanted ad recently forwarded to us from the Los Angeles edition of the site. The headline starts out innocently enough: "TV Executive Looking for Dynamic Personal Assistant." But it's not just a personal assistant our 34-year-old male TV exec is looking for. It's a Dynamic Personal Assistant/Masseuse. We know, we know. Perhaps we're projecting our own gutter minds onto a poor schlub who just needs to relax. After all, he writes, "This is primarily for relaxation, and because I don't have the time to make and break spa appointments." Oddly, he's not looking for a pro-just your regular gal with good hands who he's willing to pay $140 an hour for the massage (and $25 an hour for the errands/assistant work). Oh, he's also "Looking for someone attractive, with social graces" who can "serve as an escort/assistant to serveral high-profile entertainment functions." Maybe that's just how things are done in the TV world.

Contributing: Brooke Capps
Come sail away with kwheaton@crain.com
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