"We hope to create advertising headlines to rival the news of Sammy Sosa's home runs."
Dentsu president Yutaka Narita at a ceremony announcing his shop's acquisition of a 20 percent stake in Chicago-based B COM3
'They Opened My Eyes'
Wells, Friends Recall a Life in Advertising
By their very nature, the ceremonies welcoming inductees into the Advertising Hall of Fame can be rather somber recollections, with the stories firmly rooted in the past tense.
Sure, there were plenty of memories shared about Mary Wells Lawrence last week as she sat on the Waldorf dais next to
fellow luncheon honorees Stanley Marcus and Bernie Flanagan. But Wells, stunning in what appeared to be a Givenchy pantsuit designed by her close friend, with discreet jewels, ostrich bag and alligator pumps, was as stylish and of the moment as ever.
A quick look at those who came to lift a glass showed she's lost none of her star power. Among them: Former Ford president Phil Caldwell, Kathleen Ford, former New York governor Hugh Carey, Warnaco Group CEO
Linda Wachner, former Pan Am CEO Ed Acker, former Philip Morris marketing honcho Jim Morgan, former fashion editor Grace Mirabella, photographer Elliott Erwitt, gossip columnist extraordinaire Aileen "Suzy" Mehle.
Two new pals showed up, too: William Morris super-agent Joni Evans and Vicky Wilson, a top Knopf editor. (Knopf is publishing Wells' memoirs next spring.)
Early Wells Rich Greene associates such as Charlie Moss, Stan Dragoti and Ken Olshan were among the buoyant former colleagues who spent much of the meal time table-hopping and catching up with old friends.
"Look at all the other tables here. They're all so well-behaved in their seats eating," laughed Kathie Durham, Wells' longtime personal assistant. "Look at us. We're a big family reunion."
Wells was introduced by Burt Manning, J. Walter Thompson chairman emeritus, who said her agency made commercials that were more entertaining than the TV shows around them. Coolly unsentimental and sparkling as much as anything on her wrist, Wells thanked her husband, family, clients and former staffers. She also singled out her early mentors Bill Bernbach, Ned Dane and Jack Tinker.
"They opened my eyes to advertising, the most glamorous business in the world," she said. "The advertising business is a business that gives you a very big life. I've loved every second of it." K
Toolbox vs. Times
The New York Times isn't winning any popularity contests around the offices of Toolbox.com.
"I feel like I pulled this thing out of the ashes," said Orson Munn, a partner at the New York shop, about a Get2Net ad he wanted to run in last Tuesday's Times. The ad, which predicts the future ubiquity of Get2Net's public Internet kiosks by showing one in a deli amid a group of Orthodox Jewish men, didn't sit too well with the Times' ad acceptability folks.
Last Monday night, the Times told Munn it was rejecting the ad as possibly offensive. "The first thing they told me was, 'You can't run this,' " Munn said. Stunned, he had the 10 men in the ad--all of whom, he said, were "deliriously happy" to be in it--sign release forms, which were then faxed to the paper. The ad got a conditional OK, and ran only after being approved by the publisher, Munn said.
"They probably thought these men are like the Amish. But they're exceedingly well-advanced technologically. They have to be [for business]."
Nancy Nielsen, a Times spokeswoman, said the paper looks closely at any ads with religious content. "It was rejected because we had to look into it," she said. "I don't know if you'd call that a rejection."
Told that the Times had reservations about the ad, Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said, "I don't know why. It breaks down stereotypes rather than reinforces them. It's something one should welcome."
"The proof is in the pudding, and it ran," Nielsen added. K