WPP Group, and client Dell Computer, have finally cracked the DaVinci code, and it means "Synarchy," the name of their new advertising agency of the future. We have to admit, we'd never heard the word before, but we like the sound of it, and couldn't resist the opportunity to riff aloud about it.
According to a report in Advertising Age, the word is a reference to "a utopian political system coined in the 18th century." Sounds ideal. In fact, it moves the shop that much closer to the future - about three hundred years or so - from the 15th century reference given to the project's original code name. On the other hand, maybe DaVinci really was from the future.
And far be it for us to second guess the new WPP unit's brand name, but we know the industry and the trade press are going to have a field day with it. (Actually, we already are.) According to the latest edition of Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, the word is technically pronounced: sin-ar-kee. But we can already hear some people calling it snarky.
According to the Ad Age report, there's still a chance WPP may not jump the snark, and has already registered two alternatives with the trademark office: "Sector 64" (the Area 54 of 64-bit microprocessor history), and the all too telling, "Refute."
We're not going to refute Ad Age's reporting, but we've obtained an internal WPP memo containing the entire short list of alternatives to Synarchy Worldwide. They include:
* Syllie Global (pronounced: silly all over the planet).
* Czarchastic Intergalactic (pronounced: sarcastic - but only to extraterrestrials).
* J. Walter Thompson (pronounced: scuttled corporate legacy).
* Ogilvy & Mather (pronounced: rolling in the grave).
* Young & Rubicam (pronounced: And what are we, chopped liver?).
* Wire & Plastic Products (pronounced: What's in an acronym? Would a holding company by any other acronym spell as sweet - on Wall Street, if not Madison Avenue?).