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Xmas present, IFfy future

It's been blizzarding, but the drifts piling up on Adages' doorstep are Christmas cards and invites. Mostly we use these Xmas-sives as kindling for our yule log, but the one from Young & Rubicam's Intelligence Factory mystified us. The card features a southern California motel and reads "Holiday Ins." Inside, amid a swirl of brand names (many of them not Y&R clients), is the salutation "Peace on Earth . . . IF only, the Crew at the Intelligence Factory." Adages sought out the "trend research" unit's CEO, futurist Marian Salzman, to explain. According to Factory worker Jimmy Sepenek, speaking by phone on behalf of Salzman (who could be heard prompting him in the background): "It's a play on words. These are things that are `in' for the holidays." And the line "Peace on Earth . . . IF only"? He said IF is the acronym for the Intelligence Factory, and "IF only" is a catch phrase "we say whenever we see something that we cite as a trend." The card was sent before it was learned that Y&R would shutter the Intelligence Factory (AA, Dec. 11). Sepenek acknowledged the Factory is "not going to be part of Y&R anymore," but he left open the possibility it might reappear with another company or on its own. "We're not sure of the future of this company."

Martinis make for stirring promo

Robinson & Maites, Chicago, is serving up "The Great Martini Shake-out," a sweepstakes via The marketing services agency, with expertise in promotional work for beer, wine and spirits, is inviting clients, readers of its beverage-industry newsletter Bar Rag and any others to enter. The winner, to be chosen at random, gets a cocktail shaker from President Alan Maites' personal collection of 58. The prize shaker looks like a fire extinguisher.

Putting the brakes to Land Rover ad

A Land Rover ad featuring a bare-breasted tribeswoman makes "a mockery of African culture," charges South Africa's Advertising Standards Authority. The three-page ad TBWA Hunt Lascaris, Johannesburg, created for the Freelander begins by showing the woman's breasts swinging to the right and following her eyes. Then comes a spread featuring the speeding vehicle. The ASA contended: "The manner in which the female figure is depicted is exploitative and constitutes racial stereotyping. It is not the nudity but the misuse, abuse and distortion of the woman's nudity that violate human dignity." TBWA pulled the ad before the ruling, but said it didn't believe the ad runs afoul of the ASA code since "it constitutes hyperbole."

Burger Fling . . . back on his feet

The new-biz team at Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, must feel pretty confident about bagging the $400 million Burger King Corp. account. Last week, the agency bought 500 orders of Whoppers, fries and beverages for the entire staff to celebrate their pitch. . . . Southern California agency prez Jim Smith prided himself on running in some of the top marathons, but he's now going back to ground zero. "Turns out that all the marathons, protein shakes, altitude training and vitamins in the world can't beat a bad case of dodgy genetics," says Smith, recuperating from heart bypass surgery and expecting to return to his post at Ground Zero after the holidays.

Got an Adage? Tell Dan by phone, (312) 280-3109; fax, (312) 649-5331; or e-mail, [email protected]

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