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Ebb tide

While surfing the Web the other day, skimming the surface above Davey Jones' locker, the boneyard of i-shops of recent vintage, Adages brushed up against some curious flotsam. For example, on the Web site of now bankrupt MarchFirst we found the following slogan: "If there's challenge, there's opportunity." On, which went bankrupt recently, there was this: "We are designed to prevail in this market." The site of HookMedia, also dead in the water as it were, its assets gobbled up by Havas, declared: "The end of surfing. The beginning of business." And in Hook's recruitment section under "FAQs" was this:

"Will you be in business in one year? The short answer: YES. Companies do come and go quickly these days. HookMedia is here to stay. We are funded by some of the country's foremost investors in advertising and data marketing businesses and have an impressive senior management team dedicated to making HookMedia successful and profitable. Our long list of respected, stable clients and productive partnerships with advertising and media agencies also speaks to our staying power."

Thank you, but Adages will continue surfing.

Drive by's

What does Thomas Andersson, exec VP-marketing at Volvo Cars North America, call Hans-Olov Olsson, the worldwide president of the Swedish importer? Maybe "Dad," since Mr. Andersson, formerly president of East European sales for Volvo, is married to Olsson's daughter.

"URUGLY2" was the Michigan license plate spotted recently by sharp-eyed Bill George, global marketing flack at Ford Motor Co., who left the automaker recently for a new job in California. The vehicle, parked outside an Ann Arbor eatery, was a Pontiac Aztek. "I pulled people out of the restaurant to look at it-in the rain-so I have witnesses," says George.

It's a small world after all. Bob Reuschle, senior VP-media director on the strategy team at Bcom3's new GM Planworks, just retired. Bob, who will be 60 in July, worked closely with Mike Bronner, now GM's media czar. Bob knew Mike from years ago when Mike was ad chief at Texize Chemical (now DowBrands). Bob also knew ex-GM ad czar Phil Guarascio, who worked for sibling Texize units while at Benton & Bowles and before joining GM. Bob came to Detroit in 1988 as media chief at J. Walter Thompson Co., but switched to N.W. Ayer on the GM account in 1990.

Not separated at birth

These are Siamese twins who work in the ad business. Do you know their names? E-mail Adages your guesses and win a prize. Sorry, last time we ran out of monogrammed mugs. Will breath mints do?

Dream on

GSD&M's new production unit, Idea Studio, is producing a new indy film that began shooting in Brownwood, Texas a few weeks ago. World Without Waves is a film about a young executive suffering from amnesia who wakes up in small town in West Texas. Idea Studio also optioned a screenplay for the novel "Castro's Curveball," predictably about baseball in Cuba. GSD&M is the creative and media agency for DreamWorks SKG. According to top executives in the advertising industry, DreamWorks, GSD&M's largest client, has been quietly talking to other agencies about its $350 million account. A review may be on the way. Adages is thus led to wonder: Does Steven Spielberg feel threatened by Roy Spence?

With reporting by Kate MacArthur, Jean Halliday, Bradley Johnson and Catharine P. Taylor

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