Adages - Diamond's dogs: AKC help for the Stray Whelp

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Canine advocate Wendy Diamond is pitching a mongrel reality show. She's the founder of Animal Fair, a magazine that chronicles the lifestyles of coddled pets and their coddled owners. Her TV project, on the other hand, is more pitbull than poodle. She calls it, "Mutt Makeover, A New Leash on Life!" Wendy tells Adages the show will be a series of one-hour episodes in which she and her little fluffy Maltese, Lucky Diamond, dive into animal shelters and select a scruffy stray for a makeover and adoption. "I'm the lifestyle person who picks out the leash and collar, the new dog bed," Wendy says. The show will also star a groomer and a vet. Wendy says she has tapped Reed Zaroff for the doggie doctor role. "He's the George Clooney of vets," she gushes. "He's so cute." Guy McCarter, senior VP-director of entertainment marketing at Omnicom's media shop OMD, is putting the pooch package together. "We are just starting to approach sponsors," Guy says. "We're taking it out to all the pet-food people, and to automotive and credit-card people. OMD clients get first look at it." A network has not adopted this puppy yet.

Viral-ity marketing

Abercrombie & Fitch recently announced it is dropping its sexy catalog, like forever. That leaves the field wide open for Adam & Eve, longtime purveyors of adult-oriented products, which has been publishing racy catalogs, like forever, and they just signed with their first ad agency. The Republik, in Durham, N.C., just won an assignment for an Adam & Eve viral marketing campaign. To celebrate its viral-ity, so to speak, The Republik threw an XXX-mas ball in downtown Durham. The party featured naughty elves. Instead of guests sitting on Santa's lap, the elves sat on the guests' laps.

The other Don

Speaking of virility, and the lack of it, the 2003 prime-time season is littered with flaccid programming-shows such as NBC's "Coupling" and Fox's "Skin," which flopped prematurely. Adages suggests broadcast execs might learn something by taking a long hard look at a show that is the programming equivalent of Viagra: "Sabado Gigante" (translation: Gigantic Saturday), a Univision program that has been on the air every Saturday since August 1962. The Guinness Book of World Records named it the world's longest-running TV variety show. The key to the show's success is Don Francisco, the 63-year-old host whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger. A self-proclaimed disciple of Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson, the Don not only has been on "Gigante" for 41 years, he also has been married to the same woman for 41 years, "which is unusual in my business," he told an audience at Cornell University in September.

There's a connection there, somewhere.

Send your New Year's resolutions to rlinnett@crain.com

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