Shop Talk

“Like the commercial says, there are some things money can’t buy. Days like this are priceless.”
New York Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez, quoting McCann-Erickson’s MasterCard campaign at the Yankees victory parade.

The Lowe Down
Top 10 Best Things About Lowe Lintas
Merger mania is sweeping Madison Avenue once again. With a nod to David Letterman, we present our thoroughly informal “Top 10” list of the best things about IPG’s merger of Lowe and Ammirati Puris Lintas into the new Lowe Lintas:
10) Agency receptionists don’t have to spell out “Ammirati” anymore. By the way, that’s “Frank Lowe”–with an “e.” 9) If APL staffers move to Lowe offices, their new digs boast an on-premises bar.
8) New arrivals get to play Ally McBeal in Lowe’s cool bathrooms, which feature wooden toilet stall doors. 7) Lowe is a block from tobacconist Nat Sherman, where account execs can be found escaping clients with a stogie in the upstairs lounge. 6) Staffers get to watch summer concerts in Bryant Park from office windows while toiling over media plans. 5) Did we mention the bar? 4) Another shop with a chairman and chief creative officer named Lee –Lee Garfinkel. 3) With McCann-Erickson’s Michael Sennot coming aboard, they don’t have to take crap from their big sister anymore. Bonus: staffers get to say, “Here comes the Judge” when new prez Jerry Judge enters a meeting. 2) Martin Puris might hire shop for his new Internet company. 1) With Lowe executives claiming almost all the top posts, ex-Lintasians who got passed over in last merger feel good again! –M.M.

Ford tough: The great debate
‘Point/Counterpoint’ Makes a Comeback
Remember those weekly debates on 60 Minutes between Shana Alexander and James Jackson Kilpatrick? Ad executives sure do.
Squaring off in a “Point/Counterpoint” battle of the sexes at an AAF Marketing Conference last month were Lincoln-Mercury marketing manager Deborah Wahl as “Shana” and Young & Rubicam executive John Hirschboeck playing “Jack.”
The insults flew fast and furious over blame for the Ford nameplate’s declining sales in recent years. Hirschboeck complained that Lincoln’s Town Car and Continental models weren’t “relevant to baby boomers,” while Wahl accused Y&R with not using the right research tools. Wahl displayed a (fake) ad showing a Continental hearse with the head, “The last car you’ll ever own.” Things got personal when Hirschboeck playfully poked fun at Wahl’s na•vetƒ, and Wahl mocked Hirshboeck’s appearance and old-school ways.
The debate definitely got the attention of jaded ad execs used to sleeping through one dull speech after another. Alas, it was scripted. The pair eventually swung around to the “good news” for the agency and client. “Lincoln will own American luxury. We’re on our way to a Lincoln makeover,” declared Hirshboeck. Great idea, well executed. But somehow we liked it better when you guys were arguing. –Angela Dawson

Meet ‘The Danny’
Advertising has “The Donny” in the inimitable Donny Deutsch. Now football has “The Danny”–Snyder Communications chief Daniel Snyder. That’s how one Washington Post columnist has taken to referring to Snyder, who, at age 34, recently became the youngest team owner in the NFL. Snyder takes his Sunday job seriously: He was overheard dressing down Skins’ head coach Norv Turner and the team following its defeat by the rival Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 24. Snyder denied yelling at the Hogs to Fox Sports. But Fox football analyst Cris Collinsworth told the press it looked “like General Patton going in there and screaming at the troops.” Turner was able to joke about it a week later–after a Skins victory. “Sorry, I’m a little late. I was in a meeting with Mr. Snyder,” said Norv. Whether the Skins win or lose, Snyder has reason to smile. A big-bucks deal valued at $200 million will grant FedEx naming rights to the Redskins Stadium for the next 27 years. Any more post-game tirades, though, and
The Danny could end up being compared not only to the The Donny but to another famous New Yorker: Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. –Judy Warner