Weekly Commentary From The Media Guy

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You’ve got questions -- and, like Radio Shack and White House press secretary Scott McClellan, Media Guy’s got answers. (Warning: Like “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” the following contains a hidden sex scene. Rated AO: Adults Only.)

Did your shameless request for swag in your first column yield any results?
Sadly, I didn’t receive any chocolate, underwear or Funyons. I did, however, receive a sturdy canvas bag filled with money -- actually, one copy of Money, courtesy of the mag’s publicist, Phil Dilanni, who thoughtfully sent it to help me “cart home all of the Jacques Torres chocolate and Calvin Klein boxers you’ll likely receive.” So I got a bag containing next to nothing to help me carry all the nothing I’d received.

You poor bastard. Anyway, can I have it?
Yes, you can. Send me an email subject-lined “Money, please,” along with a sentence or two about why you deserve it. Oh, and by the way, the kind folks at Kiehl’s did notice that I mentioned their esteemed skin-care brand, and sent along a bunch of their fine products. So I’ll throw some Kiehl’s in too.

Speaking of stuff and bags: How is a man supposed to carry an iPod, Blackberry and cellphone when you’re not wearing a suit jacket because it’s 95 degrees and you don’t want to carry a manpurse?
Well, if you’re conservative commentator William F. Buckley, you can wear cargo pants. (I still fondly remember the time Ol' Buckster wrote about shopping for cargo pants at Abercrombie & Fitch so he could tote around all his “electronic equipment” -- a pretense for his writing of his discovery of the clothing retailer’s homoerotically porny catalog.) If you’re a Conde Nast editor, you can have your intern’s assistant carry all your gear around wherever you go. If you’re Lewis Lapham, it’s OK if you choose to wear a fanny pack. If you’re none of the above, you’ll simply have to settle for an emasculating manbag -- but do as I do: Also carry a hunting knife in a holster conspicuously strapped to your belt to balance the look. (Conde Nast employees can have their intern’s assistant carry the knife.)

Why don’t you do a blog instead?
As it happens, I actually plan to soon launch a companion Media Guy blog, to which I will post no fewer than 1,800 words per hour, with an average of 16 waking hours per day, seven days a week. To facilitate my blogging and to minimize the distraction of meal breaks, I’ve had a feeding tube inserted. In the event that I should lapse into a persistent vegetative state, I’ve asked my literary agent to arrange to have this column moved over to -- shortly after he smothers me with the nearest pillow.

Who ended up winning that Napster t-shirt and sock puppet you said you’d give away in column #2?
Denise Upton came pretty close to winning, because she wrote, “If you give the shirt to me you don’t have to clean it.” Dirk Soeterik came close too: “I need your Napster shirt because though it may no longer be cool in the U.S., it’s still cool (the shirt, that is) in Canada.” (Sure, blame Canada!) A nameless “weekly Media Guy reader from Belgium” nearly won with, “Isn’t making post packages to Belgium, Europe soooo much more fun than to maybe some dingy trailer park in Tampa, Florida, where you know someone’s just gonna spill barbecue sauce all over it?” But Brendon Swanson of Clovis, Calif., ultimately triumphed: “I’m a media buyer in a small agency in the armpit of California. I’m going to be married in 3 weeks.I spend more than I make and I live out of my car half the time. A Napster shirt would be the apex of my Napster-esque life, thus far.” He wins because how often can a stupid giveaway double as a wedding gift?

The sock puppet found a home when business professor Geoffrey P. Lantos, Ph.D., of Stonehill College, North Easton, Mass., wrote in, and I wrote back asking if he would bring the sock puppet to class. His response: “I’d probably try a ventriloquist act and ...” blah-blah something - something about using it to impart lessons about branding in his advertising management class. Enough said, doc. You had me at “ventriloquist act.” (And, if anyone out there wants to use my Justin Timberlake bobblehead doll in a graduate seminar -- or even a client presentation -- I’m giving him away too.)

What are you thinking about right this second?
William F. Buckley peeling off his cargo pants…while using his Blackberry to tell me about it.

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The Media Guy's column appears weekly on and in the print edition of Advertising Age. E-mail him at [email protected]

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