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Sweet Charity

It was "Give Back Day" at Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett and Starcom recently. An annual rite of spring, it's the day when the agency decides to give something back to the community, that is, Chicago. The question arises: What did they take? Better yet, do they give back some big bucks? No, of course not. This is not about civic windfalls. Give Back Day is all about sophisticated ad pros getting down with the humble homey-within. In other words, they take time out of their busy Palm Pilot schedules to push brooms and paintbrushes, basically cleaning up the city: in other words, doing jobs other people do the rest of the year. This year, Starcom whitewashed a YMCA in the mean streets of the South Side of Chicago. Starcom MediaVest CEO Jack Klues was there. "I'm a good prep man," he said. "I'm good at the masking tape around the windows and the parts that shouldn't get painted." Clearly, Mr. Klues was out of his element. But he was game. "Someone asked me what is my painting technique and I said, `I think my technique is like Monet, you know, the farther away you are from his style the better the picture looks."'

Late Show

If there was a Grand Prix for the world's longest advertising awards dinner, the top contender, at nearly five hours, would be the Buenos Aires-based international Festival Iberoamericano de la Publicidad (FIAP). Considered the Cannes of Latin America, the show gathers the best work from Latin America and Spain. At the April 27 event, the audience chatted, chain-smoked and roamed the packed ballroom at the Marriott looking for friends as awards were handed out. Although they don't always pay much attention, FIAP fans are more generous than the Cannes crowd, happily applauding winning ads and never hissing or booing. And no one cares that the event goes on forever. Rodrigo Figueroa Reyes, president of DDB Argentina and regional co-executive creative director of the network that won both Grand Prix awards, was still there at 1 a.m. even though he was entertaining 400 people the next day-at his wedding. The honeymoon is next month, at the Carlton Hotel during the International Advertising Festival in Cannes.

Hold the pickles

Burger King Corp.'s agencies might be playing "Chains of Love" soon as the company's new global Chief Marketing Officer Chris Clouser starts taking over the reins from his new underlings.

Turns out that Clouser has a cozy relationship with adman Bill Lane, now a managing partner at McCaffery Ratner Gottlieb & Lane, in Manhattan. Wherever Clouser goes, Lane gets a new client. The duo first worked together at Sprint, and when Clouser moved to Bell Atlantic, he moved the account to J. Walter Thompson Co. and Lane moved to New York to manage the business. Then, Clouser flew the coop to go to Northwest Airlines and Thompson got its wings, at least until some Minnesota state loans helped motivate the company to tap local shops. When Lane opened his own agency, Northwest landed on his roster.

Within days of his coronation, Clouser was on Mad Ave. for a franchisee convention and he called his buddy Bill Lane. But Lane contends nobody's going to get broiled. "There's no arrows pointing in that direction that I can see," said Lane. "He's got some very good agencies working for him." When asked if he would take on another Clouser project, he said, "It would be nice to be asked but I haven't talked to him about that. Personally I look forward always to working with him."

When asked whether Lane's agency name was circulating BK's halls, a spokeswoman called to say there were "no changes planned for the agencies." But don't be surprised if Lane surfaces in Clouser's future endeavors. "I'm sure he'll call some time to say hi," Lane said. "Tell him he owes me money!"

With reporting by Laurel Wentz, Kate MacArthur and Catharine P. Taylor. Send your donations to [email protected]

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