This year's Finlandia Vodka Clean Water Challenge event (said to be the longest canoe/kayak endurance race anywhere) paddles off in Chicago June 29 and should end July 29 in New York. I'll be the chap in the dark green Old Town Penobscot.
Bob Sims of National Geographic Society sends along their splendid new map of the world, one side political, one physical, taking into consideration recent boundary changes, dissolutions and the like. This is the first such map to be sent out to the society's 9.5 million members since 1988.
April 11 at the Sea Grill in Rockefeller Center the Horticultural Society of New York holds its annual cocktail buffet. This year it features a celebrity floral arranging challenge. Competitors include the city's First Lady Donna Giuliani and Bill Beutel of WABC-TV, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Christine Baranski, decorator Mario Buatta, Skitch Henderson and the very lovely Dina Merrill Hartley.
Donna Galotti of Ladies' Home Journal and Clarence Smith of Essence have been signed up by the MPA to hand out the hardware at the Kelly Awards gala on Ellis Island May 26. They'll be saluting "America's 25 best magazine ad campaigns."
Hoechst Celanese, the textile fiber giant, signed NFL great Lynn Swann to promo men's wear made from their fibers.
Does downsizing pay off? Ask Life magazine's Ed McCarrick. Since its redesign in July a year ago (under Editor Dan Okrent) and circulation and ad rate cuts, 68 new advertisers have come on board. Fourth-quarter ad pages were up 60% over '92 and for the first quarter they're up 69%. Whereas rollbacks were only 11% in circulation and 35% in the price of ads.
Electronic Engineering Times named Steve Weitzner its new publisher, up from associate.
David W. Gaier joined the Detroit PR firm of Anthony M. Franco Inc. as account exec.
Schell/Mullaney at 79 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan, which bills itself modestly as "the world's smallest global ad agency," just added Russia to countries in which it places and creates advertising. They claim they typeset and produce ads in 37 languages on their Fifth Avenue desktops. Whew!
I missed the move from Hearst to Wenner Media of Sean Sullivan. He's now director of corporate pub and a good one.
Street & Smith and Ballantine Books have launched their new joint venture. First co-op product, "Street & Smith's Guide to Baseball 1994." I am busily perusing.
Alert Bob Young at The New York Times Co.'s custom publishing division to chide the proofreaders. A new ad's copy starts off: "Since January, the newest publication from NYT Custom Publishing gets off the ground. USAir Magazine." The new mag may be swell; that first sentence makes no sense whatsoever.
And what else is Terrry McDonell doing besides running Sports Afield? In the June Playboy he writes their Mantrack feature.
New York Post soccer columnist (and a good one) Mike Barnard reports on a sporting scandal I've not previously heard of: Top Italian team Torino is being probed on allegations they tried to buy off refs with call girls.
Enormous doings at the 21 Club in New York Monday, April 11, when Cigar Aficionado's Marvin Shanken hosts a glorious blacktie dinner for 100 with the best food, best wines and best pre-Castro cigars. Rush Limbaugh, Steve Florio, Phil Guarascio, Gay Talese, Ron Perelman, Jonathan Linen, Phil Geier and Jeff Greenfield are all on the committee. Six charities get the loot.
Roger Ailes on the Imus show over at WFAN, discussing his fine employees at CNBC, Jane Wallace and Mary Matalin, said they're rather like women you ignore at 7 p.m. but by 10 or so, "with a Pall Mall hanging out of her mouth and a Bushmills in her hand, she begins to look pretty good."
Bobby Van's, the Bridgehampton literary (and otherwise) saloon where Truman Capote, James Jones and Willie Morris used to roister, has been sold to new owners and will reopen in April. Barney and Joe Phair and Joe Smith are the new owners.
Alan Katz is New York's new ad director, not manager as I erroneously wrote.
Flash! Garden Design's first issue hits the stands April 5 with 55 pages of ads. It's the initial public offering from Chris Meigher and chums. Saveur debuts mid-May.