Commentary

Oxygen! We Need Oxygen!

And so we shall have it! Atlas is sponsoring an oxygen bar in the lobby outside the ballroom where today we will hear from the world's newest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The oxygen bar, with bubbling bottles of colored liquids infused with aromas and H2O, is one of the most popular booths. Eager attendees line up, slip tiny green plastic piping into their nostrils, over the ears and down to connect with a bottle.

They're marked for their intended result. I first tried Lemongrass, which purported to lend a calming effect, as I recall. It was recommended by the wonderful staff that I inhale the stuff for at least five minutes for full effect. And so I did. I think I needed another five. The next day I tried to Chill Out with a mint-infused concoction. Today I'm heading for the Female Aphrodisiac!

Another very popular booth is Rodale's, where two masseurs from the Biltmore's staff are available for 10-minute rub downs. I climbed right onto the massage chair and, oh my gawd, my shoulders, stiff from lugging this here laptop, were relieved of their pain. Going back for another today.

Such is the life of your intrepid correspondent. Did I mention the food? The New York Times sponsored the lunch yesterday; the polenta was to die for. The dessert was out of this world, a raspberry mousse topped with fresh cream and raspberries and blueberries. ESPN put on a terrific feed bag last night, too.

Our table included a guy from Sesame Workshop, women from Mars Snacks and Cuisinart and a guy from TNS Media. I sat next to the ANA's Don Jaffe so we had a chance to catch up on a topic near and dear to his heart: government regulation of advertising vis a vis junk food to children.

Don backed up what we'd heard earlier from McDonald's Mary Dillon, saying that few understood how much the food giants were doing to monitor themselves, free of government regulation. We'll want to investigate that more thoroughly when we return.

So, on to another day of a wonderful gathering of the Masters of Marketing! TTYL!

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