Miles Young, Ogilvy & Mather's chairman for the Asia/Pacific region, has a nice home. So nice, in fact that it was featured in the July issue of Marie Claire's Hong Kong edition, which devoted five pages to his stylish crib, located in one of Hong Kong's most prestigious neighborhoods. Besides its prized painting collection and stunning views of Hong Kong harbor, the bachelor pad boasts its very own stop on the Peak Tram route. That ain't all. This Hong Kong address is just one of five swinging pads that Miles calls home. He also owns apartments in London and Shanghai, a French farmhouse and a beach house in Sri Lanka. Who says advertising doesn't pay?
The new sin tax
It's a good thing Miles doesn't have an office in Las Vegas. November is around the corner and one of the most successful political juggernauts of this political season is Ken Jarvis, a former Procter & Gamble marketing man who is running on a single-issue platform of taxing advertising. "Most people don't realize there is no sales tax on advertising," Ken writes Adages in an e-mail. "In 2002 advertisers spent over $600 billion. If there was a 5% sales tax, the states would get over $30 billion in needed tax income." Ken is pursuing a seat on the Nevada Assembly District 18 assembly, which includes Las Vegas, and is campaigning exclusively on the Internet. So far he has spent $1.80 on postage stamps for a few pieces of snail mail. Here's a dispatch from Jarvis headquarters: "Advertisers have been living off the fat of the land. They pay no sales tax on ads. Don't we ALL wish we could get by without paying our share?" So how's the campaign doing? Nevada State polls indicate that Ken, who is running as a Republican, commands 80% of the vote. The next Republican contender has 4%. The incumbent Democrat Mark Manendo has 16%. "It is just criminal that the ad business is not doing its part," Ken says. The primary will be held Sept. 3. Election Day, of course, is Nov. 5.
How many hot young authors does it take to screw in a light bulb? And how much would they get for it? Dave Eggers, author of "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," published a story in the August 12 New Yorker, "Where Were We," about a young man who travels to Senegal to give away a windfall he received posing for an ad logo. The logo is for a "light-bulb maker" and it's a silhouette of him on a stepladder screwing in a bulb. The story is a chapter in a forthcoming book about this guy, who feels so shamed about earning ad money that he travels around the world, giving it all away. The payment: $80,000. "Apparently the going rate for people transformed into silhouettes to sell things," the narrator says.
In an interview on the New Yorker Web site, Eggers boasts about the verisimilitude of his work. "The best fiction has some heavy research behind it," he says. "This particular book had to be realistic, and needed a lot of fact behind it."
Unfortunately, the reality in this case is that advertising doesn't pay. "He would get almost nothing for the silhouette," says Ann Tuite, VP-art producer at Saatchi & Saatchi. "He'd be lucky to make $2,500, and that's if the silhouette is used in a logo, which pays a little bit more than an ad shoot." Tuite says the only way anyone would get paid more is if the model is a famous person and the silhouette is recognizable. "Otherwise, it's a nice dream."
"Eighty thousand! That's ridiculous," Ken Yagoda says, exec VP-director of broadcast production at Y& R Advertising. "On average, he'd make $1,200. Unless it was a silhouette of Marilyn Monroe."
The title of Eggers' new book has not been revealed. Adages suggests calling it "A Heartbreaking Guilt Trip of Staggering Proportions."
Contributing: Normandy Madden Send logo ideas to [email protected]