AD AGES

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Fantasyland: L.A., home to floods, fires, riots and quakes, is a disaster waiting to happen. Now there's an ad campaign waiting to happen. "Together we're the best, Los Angeles!" says a feel-good campaign being developed by Davis, Ball & Colombatto in L.A. for a coalition of government and private-sector interests. Meanwhile, L.A. County has disbanded its Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem & Personal & Social Responsibility. It's not needed because L.A. people are better than everyone else. They're the best! (Adages, btw, hates exclamation points in advertising!)

Right and left turns: Did The Wall Street Journal's conservative editorial writers prod their liberal newsroom reporters into action last week? On Tuesday, WSJ's lead editorial derided Yale University for its inaction on a $20 million grant from financier Lee M. Bass in 1991 to begin a Western studies course. Politically correct types disliked the grant from the start, and Yale never figured out how to spend the money. Bass recently asked for a refund. The WSJ finally covered the story Wednesday.

AAF gaffe: "Have lunch with three guys whose careers are history," said an American Advertising Federation newspaper ad promoting the March 28 induction of Coca-Cola ad veteran Ira Herbert and two other execs into the Advertising Hall of Fame. Herbert died six days before the ad appeared.

See if K goes to L: Retail execs close to Kmart say N.W. Ayer & Partners took away a great repositioning concept when it dropped out of the chain's agency review. Ayer positioned the struggling mass merchandiser as "Today's general store." The theme line: "It's happening at the K today." We hear embattled Kmart chief Joseph Antonini loved the concept.

Say cheese: Scott Jacobs, president of Future Television, a Santa Monica, Calif., programming and teleconferencing company, has spotted a huge potential interactive market. Bingo. More than 50 million Americans play bingo weekly, Jacobs noted at New Media Expo in L.A. "If you want to question what America's true pastime is," he says, "go to Wisconsin."

Net gains: About 90% of the marketing, agency and media execs attending an International Data Group technology marketing conference said they had an Internet address on their business cards. At the conference a year ago, notes IDG President Kelly Conlin, just 10% of attendees put the 'net on their calling cards.

Also contributing: Keith J. Kelly, Melanie Rigney and

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