Advertising Week 2006

Martha Stewart (and Her Waffles) Kick Off Advertising Week

Ad Age Video: She Beats BBDO President in Cooking Competition

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Advertising Week 2006 kicked off this morning with a breakfast hosted by Martha Stewart, who defeated Andrew Robertson, president-CEO at BBDO Worldwide, in an on-stage waffle-making competition.

Merits of lard
As they prepared and cooked their rival entries, Ms. Stewart and Mr. Robertson debated the merits of warmed maple syrup, salted butter and the lard in Mr. Robertson's recipe.

"My lawyers tried to get me to waffle," Ms. Stewart told the invite-only crowd, referring to you-know-what. That the case did not work out in her favor, she told a laughing crowd, only proves that she is not a waffler.

The waffle-off actually provided a tiny scandal of its own, when Ms. Stewart discovered afterward that fake syrup had somehow landed on her cooking table in place of real maple syrup. "Sabotage," an employee suggested. Then again, Mr. Robertson was competing with a typical off-the-shelf waffle-maker he brought himself, while Ms. Stewart took advantage of a $1,500 model shipped from her house in Maine over the weekend.

O. Burtch Drake remarks
The event opened with remarks from O. Burtch Drake, president-CEO, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and president-CEO, Advertising Week, who promised that this week would be the biggest and best yet. Young talent would again be attracted to the business, he said, and people in the industry would be reminded why they got into it: "to make a difference."

Even if many on Madison Avenue might trace their careers differently, Advertising Week organizers hope the do-good aspect won't be overlooked. They have organized a week-long blood drive to that end as well as a show today called "Taking Care of Our Future: Great Ads on Environmental and Social Responsibility Exhibit."

The waffle-off was closed this morning by Susan Lyne, president-CEO, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. "On behalf of all of us at Martha Stewart," she said, "thank God Martha won."

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