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O.J. for breakfast and `Launch'

We were shocked, shocked to see a magazine trying to hawk subscriptions and get in front of the TV cameras after O.J.'s verdict at the Santa Monica Courthouse. But leave it to three enterprising staffers from Launch, a music mag-on-a-CD-ROM. The trio schlepped over from their offices a block away with a big banner that they held up when the cameras were rolling. They even handed out subscription cards. Aside from a guy holding up a sign with an 800-number for the Virgin Mary, Launch was the only commercial message Adages spotted when we made a Tuesday night pilgrimage to Camp O.J. We'll let Mary speak for Herself, but we found Launch's stunt to be tacky, exploitative and lacking in taste. Meaning, of course, we liked it.

It's not Bob, Dick, for Pete's sake

At the Henry Johnson Fisher Awards, Newsweek's Richard Smith kept calling honoree Robert Petersen "Bob" even though Petersen Publishing's founder has always gone by "Pete." There was more name dropping: When Pete took the mike, he managed to mispronounce the names of Claeys Bahrenburg and Neal Vitale, the execs who have been running Pete's place since he sold the company last fall.

An IPO, not for Pete's sake

Speaking of Petersen Publishing (but not of Claeys and Neal), the company may get resol(e)d faster than a pair of loafers. James Dunning, boss of parent Petersen Holdings, hopes to take the publisher public in the fourth quarter this year or Q1 of next.

Utter balderdash (sincerely)

Parker Bros. created a hit with Balderdash, a board game based on bluffing. So later this year, it launches a sequel, Beyond Balderdash, with a spot from Grey/NY in which a bus rides around the city looking for people who are bluffing. Parker execs were so impressed with the spot they brought the bus across country from the L.A. shoot to NYC this week to haul people around Toy Fair. (True.) Ad agency execs, btw, suck at this game because they have given their lives to unquestioning, selfless and reverential service to clients. (Balderdash.)

Absolut hit ...

Irish eyes

"Absolut Book," penned by TBWA Chiat/Day's Richard Lewis, has hit the NYTimes best-seller list. . . . C's the opportunity? California's Sunkist and FCB are testing a campaign in Dallas, Denver and Indianapolis pitching how one orange a day supplies all the vitamin C you need. The stepped-up nutrition pitch follows aggressive health promotions by cross-country rival Fla. Dept. of Citrus. . . . Look for Hill Holliday's first work for new client NEC to appear in April. . . Warwick Baker & O'Neill prez-creative chief Kevin O'Neill headed off last week to judge the Addys in Ireland. He's also written a fiction piece about Ireland and, as an undergrad, took a year off from Princeton to study in Dublin. We sense a pattern. . . . Philip Morris' Kraft paid tribute to Green Bay with a replica of the Vince Lombardi trophy sculpted from 600 pounds of cheese.

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Keith J. Kelly, Laura Petrecca and Judann Pollack.

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (213) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (213) 655-8157; or e-mail, [email protected]

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