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January 30, 2006

Champagne Chair


Eve Luppert spied this and sent it to me. It's a design contest which challenges contestants to design a chair using everything on a champagne bottle except the bottle.


January 29, 2006

Lost Alums

And now for a list of "lost alums," people whose email addresses are bouncing back with a "not found" message. If you see your name here, you are, to paraphrase Steven Colbert, "lost to me." Please report your location. If you know someone on this list, please have them get in touch with me ...

Corey Weiss, Phil Latcholia,Doug Kim, and Jack Ginsberg (who wrote me on Friday that he was leaving his current job, but forgot to give me a forwarding address!)

New (and found alums)

Irina Lapin, who was lost and now is found again. (Thanks, Wes!)

Vanesa Lopez (Alcazar), who worked for Chiat/Day in Venice 88-91 then C/D/M-NY and back to TBWA\C\D SF. Vanesa is now running a fitness center for new moms in Peninsula, California. www.babybootcamp.com

Christine Corden. Sr. Business Affairs Manager in LA office from 1994 - 1999. "I worked for Dori Schiller, Elaine Hinton and Richard O'Neill. I left Chiat in 1999 to become a recruiter in LA and I work with Gilly Taylor (formerly Taylor Chiu)."

And the fabulous Amy Ward! "I was in billing in NY at the time of Jon Spurney, Janet, Yu Ling, etc...then as an account person with Mark Shafer, Annette Mcconnell, and Monica Burnick and Susan Goodman....etc."

January 27, 2006

Joo Chiat


Honestly, the things you run across when you are Googling ...


Old ads for electronics

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Fun old ads for deceased gadgets. (Remember when TVs had tubes? I think I inherited my love of electronics from my mother, who was always taking the TV apart and taking the tubes to the hardware store, where you'd insert them into a fibre-board testing panel to see which one had blown.)


January 26, 2006

Dumbest Monents in Business


Every year, Business 2.0 presents its annual roundup of the previous year's stupidest business decisions. Here is a compiliation from that list of the year's dumbest moments in advertising. Just pray one of yours isn't on the list.


January 24, 2006

Tom Harbeck

from the Dede Dalton McMahon collection

Tom Harbeck, an account supervisor at Chiat/Day New York, in a new business promotional piece. I have no idea where Tom is now (if you do, please contact me), but from what I can Google, he is the former SVP, Sundance Channel and Nickelodeon Television, and currently serves on the Board of Advisors for iFilm.

January 21, 2006

The Future of Men


Chiat/Day alums Ira Matathia and Marian Salzman (along with Ann O'Reilly) have written a book called "The Future of Men.," which proclaims the dawning of the age of "M-Ness." Baby, I'm drippin' with it.


January 20, 2006

Spinning Hamas


Here's a challenging client: Hamas. Although Hamas is often the sole provider of humanitarian care to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East, they also have this nasty habit of launching suicide bombers against Israeli civilians. Love the carnage, hate the bad press.

So Hamas has now hired a "spin doctor" to help give the organization a softer image. Here's a sample of the new way of positioning the untidy business of blowing people up, offered recently by a Hamas official: "Sometimes we are innocent enough to react in a way that the Israelis use the reaction against us."

Isn't PR wonderful?


January 19, 2006

Snapper Mowers


A CEO makes a pilgrammage to Wal-Mart headquarters to ask them to stop selling his product.


January 18, 2006

Synthetic Worlds


It's my job to alert you when there's something startling new afoot in the world of technology, especially when that something new is creating an entirely new marketplace. That something new is the world of online reality games.

I'm not talking video games, I'm talking about huge, multi-player fantasy games, played online, where characters and "virtual land" are traded --- for real cash. It is not hyperbole to say that the economies of these virtual worlds exceed, in size, the economies of some countries in the real world.

"Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games" by economist Edward Castronova should be required reading by anyone who wants to impress their client with some mind-blowing insight into a new economic frontier.


January 17, 2006

Signs of Life


Signs (real or Photoshopped) from around the world. Personally, I think the fine for this offense is a little stiff.


Don't be so judgmental

In less time than it took you to read this sentence, you've already judged the value of this website. My proof? Some Canadians told me.


January 14, 2006

Steve and Leslie Hunt


I owe my whole career in technology to Steve Hunt, who was Chiat/Day's CFO back in the Biltmore days. He and his wife, Leslie (a.ka.a "Leslie Sullivan," who worked for me supporting the infamous Wang system) have become real estate magnates!

Writes Steve ...

I think I mention to you some time ago that, having failed at retirement, Leslie and I have embarked on new careers in Real Estate. We have selected two special locations in which to specialize. First, May - October at the Jersey Shore, more specifically the northern shore in eastern Monmouth County, which offer easy high speed ferry access to Manhattan, for those who can't do without the stimuli of the City.

Second, November - April (more or less) in Sedona, AZ, a uniquely beautiful location for vacation, second or retirement homes. We even have Vortex's for the more spiritually inclined.


Providing a superior level of informed, professional real estate services to buyers and sellers in the Sedona and Verde Valley area. Sedona was voted the most beautiful place in America by USA Weekend. Whether attracted by the stunning Red Rock scenery, mild four season climate, the culture & arts, golf, hiking, the legendary cowboy films & vortex’s or some combination of these, Sedona is truly a unique location for a vacation, seasonal second, or year round home or investment property. Surrounded by National Forests, Sedona is destined to remain a special place with special value.

To learn more go to...www.Homes-Sedona.com.


Providing a superior level of informed, professional residential real estate services to home buyers and sellers in Monmouth County and the New Jersey Shore including Rumson, Fair Haven, Red Bank, Middletown, Little Silver, Long Branch, Oceanport, Monmouth Beach, Sea Bright, Highlands and Atlantic Highlands. >From rural horse country to ocean front at our beautiful beaches, you will be impressed with our exceptional variety of life styles, within easy commute of NYC by car, rail or fast ferry. Please let us and Resources Real Estate be "Your Real Estate Resource".

To learn more go to... www.ShoreHomes-NewJersey.com

At any rate I hope all is well with you and that you have a very enjoyable holiday.

Best regards,



January 10, 2006



As the world becomes engorged with digital media, it's fun to look back to some of the very first technology to capture sound. Ever wonder what Teddy Roosevelt sounded like? Listen. Or would you like to hear Shackleton talking about his trip to Antarctica? Listen.

The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization project has preserved 5,000 wax cylinders.


January 09, 2006

Flashmob photos

Darren Isabelle
Neilan Tyree

That's Darren, Sonny Senthavong in the middle, and Adelaide Horton on the right.

Jim Reedy

John Marco

Jim Reedy again, momentarily stunned by the flash.

Here are the photos from Friday's "Hurricane Katrina" flashmob at Old Town in NYC. Ok, two problems - first of all, I got a new digital camera and I have no idea what all of the various buttons do, which explains the lousy quality of the photos. (It took me six shots before I realized I needed to turn the flash on.) Secondly, I was wearing my new contact lenses, which are lousy, which means that after taking the picture, I could not see how they looked on the LCD screen.

But that's all beside the point. The point was that a good time was had by all.

Darren Isabelle is now living in Houston, where he is working with a faith-based organization helping evacuees from New Orleans.

Neilan Tyree is still living in New Orleans, but doing a lot of work for clients in NY, so he's here quite frequently.

Both of them were VERY fortunate in that their homes escaped virtually unscathed by the hurricane. So the message they wanted to convey to everyone was that they are in GREAT shape, even if the city is not.

January 06, 2006



Don't forget! Flashmob tonight for Darren Isabelle at the Old Town Bar, 18th St., between Fifth and Park Avenue, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

We'll be on the SECOND FLOOR.

January 05, 2006

How did they vote?


What kind of a slacker is your Congressperson or Senator? How did they vote on the issues that matter to you. Monitor their activity (or lack of it) with this handy database, courtesy of the Washington Post.


January 04, 2006

Favorite fonts


The journal Typographica has announced their favorite fonts of 2005. And the winners are ...

January 03, 2006

Disruption Network


I was intrigued by this article in the Sunday New York Times business section about how ad agencies are rushing to figure out how to use their own worldwide employees to spot trends.

I had to sigh, because a few years ago I helped design a system which did this very thing. It even won a design award from ID Magazine, thank you very much.

I was brought into BDDP Advertising as a technology consultant by long-time C/D alum Adelaide Horton, who was President of BDDP North America. She asked me to take a look at their information systems and provide some strategic vision as to how they could use technology to make their own worldwide network "smarter." I did extensive user interviews and other forms of "anthropology" in BDDP's New York, Paris, and Singapore offices.

My findings? Except through email, the network had no way to share knowledge. If someone in Singapore had a fascinating study on Asian consumer habits, nobody had a way of sharing this information with the rest of the network. If someone in Paris had just seen an ad for a competitor's product, there was no way of sharing that visual information ... and wouldn't even know who to send it to by email if they'd wanted to!

So the concept I came up with was to create what today might be called a "communal corporate blog." (And this was long before the word "blog" had even entered the world's vocabulary.)

We ultimately hired Art Technology Group, a leading-edge software design firm in Boston, and together we built what we called "The Disruption Network."

It let any employee in the company worldwide post articles of interest to an internal website. It was intended to be used to show work that the various offices around the world were creating, and to share information on global marketing and cultural trends.

As employees perused the site, the most frequently-read pieces would float to the top of the "blog." (A technique used by Google to make the most relevant sites rise to the top of a search request.) My favorite feature? I devised a technique that let even the most technologically challenged executive take an article they had found in a newspaper or magazine and get it into the system: all they had to do was fax it to a dedicated fax number and the article would appear on the website moments later.

Employees were even to be rewarded for the value of the information they contributed to the site.

You can see a demo of the website here.

Alas, just weeks before the software was to be implemented, BDDP lost a big client and the agency was down-sized and ultimately sold to ... of all people, TBWA. Although TBWA inherited the rights to the software, the project was ultimately abandoned.

How useful it would have been for just the type of "trend-spotting" this article says is now every agency's grail.

Steve Alburty

Flashmob for Darren Isabelle


Darren Isabelle, C/D NY's irrepressibly jolly Mac support whiz, is in New York this week and in honor of his having survived the exodus from New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina, I am declaring that there will be a flashmob on Friday, January 6th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Old Town Bar, 45 E 18th St. between Park and Fifth Avenue. We'll be upstairs on the 2nd floor.

Even if you don't remember Darren (as if such a thing were possible), drop on by as there is probably someone there you will remember. (Wear a C/D t-shirt if you have one.)

January 02, 2006

C/D LA building trifecta




I was in Los Angeles just before Christmas and while bopping around in my rented Jaguar, I decided to grab some photos of famous C/D buildings from Christmases-past.

I knew that the original building was on Olympic, but I couldn't remember the street number except that it had a "300" in it. I thought "Sharon Stanley would know," but didn't have Sharon's phone number. So I tried Adelaide Horton. She said her husband, John Fraley, knew it to be "1300 Olympic Boulevard," because he worked for Cannon Mills and that's where they had their offices, too, at some point.

So here is the 1300 Olympic Boulevard building, where I worked from 1977 until we moved into the Biltmore, which must have been around 1979.

The building is in Koreatown and one of the main occupants of the building now is "The Whole Nations Presybyterian Church." (I wonder if they realize there is supposed to be an apostrophe at the end of "Nations?") Another occupant is a nursing school, the Genova H. Institute. They have spared no expense in their signage. That may or may not be duct tape.

Just for fun, here are pictures of two of C/D's other offices in LA, the Biltmore Hotel downtown, and the famous binocular building on Main Street in Venice. I don't know who occupies those buildings now.


I also had lunch with Laurie Coots and her son, Christopher, who is an adult now (zounds!) and is working for an ad agency in New York called Strawberry Frog. Also at the lunch, was Louise Hoven, Laurie's long-time assistant. We dined at Chayas, just down the street from the old binocular building. The dijon chicken with fries is every bit as delicious as it was ten years ago.

I could kick myself as I had my camera with me and forgot to take pictures of Laurie, Christopher, and Louise.

January 01, 2006

Lynn Sosa


So there I was in LA at the new Walt Disney Hall, trying to find which door I was supposed to go in, when I heard somebody calling my name. Who should I run into but Lynn Sosa! (Some of you may remember her as Lynn Petrulas.) She worked at C/D in LA at the original Olympic Boulevard office and then at the Biltmore Hotel. Lynn was head of traffic. Lynn and her husband, Jeff Parkin, and her mother, Shirley Rensel, were attending the Chanticleer Christmas Concert.

(The photo was taken about a year ago when Lynn and her family were visiting New York. That's me in the tie.)