Adweek Diary: Eastern

The function of an agency account executive has been likened to that of the hub of a wheel, keeping the creative and media spokes turning in concert to meet the client’s objectives.
Recently, at Earle Palmer Brown in Philadelphia, one wheel went into overdrive to meet the needs of the Pennsylvania Electric Association, a statewide trade group of utility companies. The PEA needed a new TV spot to promote awareness of an upcoming deregulation pilot program-in just seven days.
According to a diary, obtained by Adweek, of an unidentified EPB account executive, the breakneck production schedule was kept on the rails by such heroics as a 24-hour turnaround on storyboard approval by the seven utility companies that make up the PEA-“Hooray they can just all get along,” the executive wrote.
At the same time, he was cajoling the media department to finagle airtime at Pennsylvania TV stations during a period where there was limited inventory to sell. Our intrepid adman’s true mettle, however, was tested during the marathon filming session where he “felt like shooting the crew by late evening.”
In the end, no fatalities were reported and a half-million consumers were signed up for the pilot.
Ogilvy’s Shelly Lazarus Gets Goods at Sellout Madison Avenue Sellout, the auction/garage sale charity event, raised $150,000 for the UJA-Federation AIDS Initiative, said event coordinator Debbie Prince.
Shelly Lazarus, Ogilvy & Mather’s worldwide chairman and chief executive, shelled out $1,000 to acquire one of the hottest items on the block that night: a pair of agency founder David Ogilvy’s red suspenders. The braces will be mounted in Lazarus’ New York office. “I didn’t know how to ask him” for them, Lazarus explained.

Avrett, Free & Ginsberg has hired an expert on the sexuality of flamenco dancing as an account planner. Tim Malefyt holds a doctorate in anthropology from Brown University and has won Fulbright and National Science Foundation grants to study gender ideology associated with flamenco dancing in Seville, Spain. Malefyt sees a “natural link between anthropology and business.” Stuart Grau, Avrett’s executive director of planning, said Malefyt “impressed us with his ability to bring an understanding of the symbolic meaning and experiential nature of brands in ways that could inspire our creative efforts.” Can he dance? Absolutely.

Tongue-in-cheek remarks about Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners flowed freely at the agency’s 10-Year Retrospective exhibition, thanks mostly to a video (shown above) in which friends and competitors roasted the agency principals without mercy. The reel was shown on the exhibition’s opening night at the Art Directors Club last month. Among the highlights: J. Walter Thompson’s Helayne Spivak confessing she is Richard Kirshenbaum’s birth mother; arch-rival Donny Deutsch revealing that Kirshenbaum was homeless and working at an A&P when he found him, hired him and “nursed him back to health”; Cliff Freeman noting that Kirshenbaum’s hair has grown thicker in proportion to the number of awards Freeman has won; Jon Bond being described as “a ferret” more than once; and George Fertitta detailing how the pair consults him for advice on everything from where to live to business tips, with the frequent refrain, “and then they’d try to steal my people.”