Sales team hits goal by putting the mmmmm in mealworms

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Call us sick, but Adages is a big fan of company employees being abused in order to build up morale or increase sales ... or, heck, just for the fun of it. So we were beyond delighted when we heard what Men's Journal did to its staff recently. In order to drum up buzz for the May "adventure issue," the sales team had clients vote on an extreme dare the sales staff would have to undertake. Would it be fire walking, racing cars on a frozen lake, ice climbing or climbing the stairs of the Empire State Building (boring!)?


Luckily for our readers-but not for the sales team-the clients chose "Extreme Cuisine." According to Men's Journal, the menu "included honey-glazed spiced tarantulas, herbed cream cheese with glazed scorpion on melba toast, mealworms erupting from cherry tomatoes, phyllo-dough pastry cups with prickly-pear-cactus jelly and roasted ants, and phyllo-dough pastry cups with sun-dried-tomato cream cheese topped with crickets."

Those guys have a way with words. Perhaps they should consider taking up menu-writing in the Amazon.

Men's Journal Publisher Will Schenk tried to convince us that "the Madagascar hissing cockroach tasted a little like dried Kobe beef." Right. Adages has been known to eat squirrel, but we draw the line at insects. Schenk also wondered: "Who would've thought that crickets taste like popcorn?" (Answer: Anyone who's been subjected to that Orville Deadenbacher ad from Crispin Porter & Bogusky.)

But the best reaction by far was from Tanya Niederhoff, the recently hired travel-account manager. "I just started last week. They didn't mention this in the job description!"

Consider it a bonus, Tanya.

California moved to Virginia by Wal-Mart Effect

Guess where Wal-Mart opened its new "California" concept store this week? At one-third the size of a regular Wal-Mart, with lower shelves and sushi offerings, it opened in Richmond, Va. Just down the road from Wal-Mart's new lead creative firm, Martin Agency.

Rudy Giuliani, where are you?!

We're well aware that it's already Election 2008 season and that Rudy Giuliani is no doubt looking forward to a rematch with Hillary Clinton. But Adages demands he come back to New York to pick up some of Mike Bloomberg's slack. Seems that someone's recently "tagged" an entire subway train. Highlights of this particular piece of "art" include the phrases "Made U Look" across the whole train and "Cash is King" on the front, as well as the Monopoly Man. At the moment, it's a mystery without an answer (or perhaps like Enron, a puzzle without a solution). But we're certain there's a company involved with this and quite possibly the mayor himself. After all, the delinquents-sorry, artists-claim they were given access and plenty of time to complete the job. And their shoddy little website hasn't been shut down yet. We put ace reporter Andrew Hampp on the case, and he was told by the suspects-sorry, artists-via a few subliterate e-mails that the "truth" about the incident will be auctioned off in March. Good luck with that.

That said, any marketers want to own up to this now, before you face the further wrath of Adages? C'mon, we won't hold it against you.

Contributing: Brooke Capps, Andrew Hampp Send roach recipes to
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