Adages: Are you experienced? "Like, yeah, I guess so," say dorky directors

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Britney Spears and two young men named Jimmy & Dinh have something in common. Last week, they confessed. They lost their virginity. Britney lost it to ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake (she announced it in W magazine). Jimmy & Dinh gave it up to Kid's Footlocker.

Jimmy & Dinh is a spot-making team that won the prestigious student award this year from the Association of Independent Commercial Producers for a spectacular reel of spec spots for Starbucks, Nike, Maxim Magazine and Sony Style among others. The production company Treat signed Jimmy Diebold, 27, and Dinh Long Thai, 29, and they just finished shooting a Kid's Footlocker ad, their first paying gig. They met while studying spotmaking at Art Center in Pasadena in 1999. They first thought of calling themselves James Dinh, as in James Dean, but changed their minds.

"We're urban nerds," says Dinh with a boyish smirk, during a lunch in Manhattan. "We love video games," says Jimmy, his baseball cap turned backwards. Kathrin Lausch, exec producer at Treat, is there. "Now," she says with a sly wink, "they are experienced."

Lonely are the brave

"I just don't get it," says Jon Mandel, co-CEO of MediaCom, after returning from Washington, D.C. where he was invited to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on radio consolidation. "We did all this work, we did the research, we testified about how all these advertisers are getting hosed as a result of media consolidation, both locally and nationally. ... And I'm wondering: Where are all the advertisers? I get lots of calls and e-mails from people who work in radio saying `Hey, you're bang-on!' One guy wrote us an e-mail that said `Thanks for your honest testimony.' Executives at radio companies of course are ready to kill me. But hey, where are the phone calls from advertisers? ... I really sometimes wonder if people are paying attention. Or maybe they just don't care. But I can't believe they don't care, because advertisers are forever yelling at agencies for letting media companies charge so much. I think maybe they are afraid, because it's all about dealing with the government. Oh my god, it's the government! I don't get it, the way I was raised, the government is us."

A lost weekend

Some of the ad people who attended the Cannes International Advertising Festival are feeling guilty. Who can blame them? From all reports, the 2003 fest was about as excessive as they come. Much of the work was poor and the judging abysmal, but the drinking and carousing were, apparently, monumental.

Things were so bacchanalian, in fact, that three of the U.K.'s best-known advertising figures are seeking repentance by founding a charitable organization called "Cannes Do," which hopes to raise at least $1 million for children's charity projects.

How will they cough up the dough? By dunning each Cannes attendee for 50 euros apiece. The Cannes Do'ers will then approach Roger Hatchuel, chairman of the Festival, with an appeal to match the sum raised by delegates.

The scheme was hatched at an atypically sober dinner on the Croisette with Robert Campbell, joint creative director of WPP Group's Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/ Y&R and vice chairman of Y&R, James Studholme of Blink and Robert Campbell (a different one) of spot production company Outsider. "It will be one of the most international and powerful groups of advertising people ever assembled" promised Y&R's Mr. Campbell, who is putting the committee together. Adages will drink to that.

Contributing: Emma Hall Give it up to: rlinnett@crain.com

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