Real Media Riffs - Thursday, Dec 21, 2006

HOW MANY LIGHTBULBS DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW ON THIS POLE? -- We always suspected that the Bostonian ad community had more fun than their Madison Avenue counterparts. Or at least, that they were more prone to letting their hair down. Well, now we have proof. And it's been circulating all across the World Wide Web. Well, it was until Havas' Arnold Worldwide managed to convince YouTube to pull down a viral video that mysteriously pole vaulted to the top of the online video service's charts. Well, actually it was just a pole. But not just any pole. A stripper's pole that the Arnold team used to entertain themselves, and ostensibly, others.

As far as ad industry PR blunders go, Arnold's pole cats may not gain the same notoriety as ousted Wal-Mart marketer Julie Roehm. And they certainly won't end up becoming "the top tabloid story of the year." But they will have gained at least 15 minutes of fame before Arnold's PR team manages to douse the obligatory trade press feeding frenzy.



To aid Arnold's team in its pole spinning efforts, a friend of the Riff's, who also happens to be a savvy PR counsel, has passed along the following top 10 PR excuses for the presence of a stripper's pole in Arnold's offices.

10. This happens to be a rather expensive sculpture from the Saatchi collection.

9. (Arnold CCO) Pete Favat's installed it at his chiropractor's demands. He needs the lumbar support!

8. That pole was left here by Paul Revere. You know, Betsy Ross stripped here.

7. The pole was installed because Arnold can no longer afford the rent and the building's landlord leases it nights to a firehouse.

6. The pole was a cherished gift from Volkswagen. Come back, Volkswagen! Come back!

5. The pole is for a new tourist campaign Arnold just developed for Boston: "What happens in the Back Bay, stays in the Back Bay."

4. In order to afford Arnold execs' lavish lifestyles, all lunches will be paid for with tips from lap dances provided to clients.

3. That's no pole! That's our new account director and he's glad to see you.

2. Hey, we have no idea where it came from. It just showed up one day with a gift card signed, "Happy holidays - J. Roehm!"

And the No. 1 best PR excuse for why Arnold has a stripper pole in its office...

1. It's all a part of our agency's new benefits package. Healthcare? Schmealthcare.

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