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Ad offenses range from fish to foul

PETA, after coming to the defense of a plastic fried fish in an ad (Adages, Feb. 7), has lashed out to protect a dead -- though apparently athletic -- chicken. And the offender is again a dot-com. The billboard was part of a $10 million campaign that TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, created for Internet "talk" network The ad features the equation "SPORTS/Gross Impressions - FCC Restrictions = EYADA," beside a plucked and beheaded fowl jumping a hurdle. EYada got a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urging it to ax the ad. EYada CEO Bob Meyrowitz, however, says the purpose of the copy and chicken was to humorously say eYada's sports talk "is not like you've ever heard it before, a unique sporting event." The agency used a stock photo of a chicken, he notes. No one there had to purloin, pose and photograph an actual dead bird. "I truly never thought it would offend," Meyrowitz says. The ad, however, has run its course, so no one will have to pullet.

Taco Bell's Gidget goes to Wall St.

When Taco Bell announced its new Nacho Chip at the NYSE last week, it was the first time CMO Kip Knight had ever met pitchdog Gidget. The Chihuahua rang the opening bell, a task for which it trained for weeks. "This dog has a certain serenity," Knight says of Gidget. "It's almost Yoda-like." Apparently, Knight can't get "Star Wars" off his mind. The taco chain partnered with Tricon Global Restaurants sibs KFC and Pizza Hut last summer in an expensive, but ill-fated, promo centering on the "The Phantom Menace."

Rest easy, WPP! No DiMassimo bid

"DiMassimo Brand Advertising responds to rumors," read the headline of an urgent-looking news release. "Because of recent press speculation surrounding the hostile takeover of Y&R Inc. and to quiet market speculation, DiMassimo Brand Advertising has informed the investment community that it has no intent to acquire Y&R Inc. at this time." Come on! DiMassimo is the little NY shop that launched It claims billings of about $150 million and revenue of around $10 million. That's not anywhere near the reported $6 billion asking price for Young & Rubicam. "Hey, you leverage this and that," says Lee Goldstein, DiMassimo's irrepressible director of business development, "and the next thing you know, you buy yourself a big ad agency, if you want it." But apparently, Goldstein and boss Mark DiMassimo don't want it.

Web is Internot for Vietnam's kids

Now that the U.S. media have carpet-bombed us with stories about how it's been 25 years since the fall of Saigon, let's look at how Vietnam's latest U.S. invader -- the Internet -- is faring in-country. Less than 1% of Vietnamese urban children have surfed the Net, according to A.C. Nielsen Co. data. Its New GenerAsians survey, commissioned by Cartoon Network, tracked youth opinions in 14 Asian nations. Vietnam scored lowest for Internet use. Although more than half of urban Vietnamese children say it isn't important to own designer labels, brand awareness appears to be strong. Calvin Klein jeans were listed as the most sought after item of clothing. Other favorite brands: Adidas for footwear, Coca-Cola for soft drinks and M&M's for chocolate.

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

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