POSTCARD PENILIZES THE U.S. MALE

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You don't need to be a member of the male rabble to get a rise from GoCard's new postcard ad backing "The Penis Book" by Joseph Cohen. GoCard has distributed 170,000 of the free cards -- featuring a hole for penilely playful fingers -- in restaurants and bars in seven major cities. It's not the first time GoCard has used a die-cut design, but it is the first time it has featured a . . . hole. GoCard prez Alan Wolan says he came up with the idea. The cutout made the card a bit more expensive than usual to produce -- 9 1/2 cents vs. 8 cents -- and, of course, size (of the hole) mattered. "There was a lot of debate on that," Wolan says. "We decided on the size of a nickel." And has anyone been wagging disapproving fingers at GoCard? "I've been shocked, actually," Wolan says, "that no one has called up threatening my life or anything like that."

Brave New (Media) World, Chapter 1

Grant Richards, partner and co-creative director at San Fran agency Grant, Scott & Hurley, paints the end of the ad business as we know it this way: Online advertising doesn't work, so Internet companies flood the traditional media market. Traditional companies are pushed out of media slots. They stop advertising for six months. It doesn't hurt their business, so they decide not to advertise again. Then the Internet companies go broke. The traditional media wither away and die, taking the ad biz as collateral. "I don't know I really believe it will happen," Richards admits. "But it seems like a distinct possibility."

Brave New (Media) World, Chapter 2

In the old days, when you suddenly left the bosom of your employer, the word was you had "resigned to pursue other interests." But in the Digital Age, the euphemism is that you "left to explore opportunities in the Internet arena," or some such spin, with the most recent example being AutoNation departee John Costello (AA, Aug. 9). Even stores no longer simply go out of business. The windows of defunct New York retailer Shanghai Tang are covered with signs that read, "It's summer and we've moved to a cool place. Visit us at our new site at www.shanghaitang.com."

Condom caper. . . more Y2K O's

Ansell Healthcare Products, irked at being rebuffed by publications including ESPN the Magazine when it tried to place its latest ad for LifeStyle condoms, took to the great outdoors instead. It projected the ad on buildings last Thursday outside the MTV Music Awards in New York. The ad from SSD&W, Montville, N.J., asks the question, "Haven't gotten any lately?" and features blue-colored sports balls to humorously signify sexual frustration. Ansell has had more success placing a corresponding TV campaign in spot markets for this fall. . . . Franco-American SpaghettiOs is joining cerealmakers (AA, Sept. 6) in putting its Oar into the millennial water. Campbell Soup Co. is adding "2"-shape pasta to 18 million cans of limited edition SpaghettiOs 2000 starting next month. Kids will be able to spell out the new year on their spoons. The year 2000 also marks SpaghettiOs' 35th anniversary.

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