The Los Angeles Advertising Club gave away 54 Belding Bowls at its annual awards fest, including 15 to TBWA\Chiat\Day, the most of any agency.


Los Angeles-based TBWA won "Best Book" for work on behalf of clients Nissan North America Inc., Sony Corp.'s PlayStation, Mars Inc.'s Pedigree pet food, and PepsiCo Inc., while sister agency Tequila won the Sweepstakes Award for its online contribution to the Playstation campaign.


Tequila is the TBWA operation that focuses on brand management. The agency's work for the Playstation game "Shadow of the Colossus" provides a case study of a successful online viral campaign, in which marketers tap into social networks like blogs and gaming groups to hype their product.


"This is an extremely unconventional and modern campaign. It's a new way to connect with consumers and it represents a totally integrated way of working between both Tequila and TBWA\Chiat\Day," said Rob Schwartz, executive creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles.


Other big winners included DDB Los Angeles and Ground Zero Advertising, each with six wins, and Secret Weapon Marketing and RPA, which each finished with five Beldings.


On the client side, the Playstation name appeared on nine bowls. Ameriquest Capital Corp., American Honda Motor Co. and Jack in the Box Inc. bankrolled the creative for five awards each. In terms of category, video games tied with cars as the source of inspiration for 11 award-winners. Consumer goods followed with eight awards and fast food with six trophies.


The Belding awards were started in 1965 to recognize the high quality of advertising created in Southern California. The bowl-shaped trophies are named in honor of Don Belding, a pioneer of West Coast advertising and co-founder of marketing conglomerate Foote, Cone & Belding.


This year the Belding Awards received more than 700 submissions from 100 agencies. For a complete list of winners, visit the ad club's Web site at www.laadclub.com.


Marc vs. Marc
At last month's Alma Awards, Marc Anthony the salsa singer finally met Marc Anthony the celebrity hair stylist. After a short conversation, the men parted after making reciprocal promises one never to cut hair, the other never to sing.


The subject of name ownership never came up, even though legally it shouldn't start an argument. Personal names are the same as common words and similarities don't present a problem unless they confuse consumers. Since the hair stylist and the singer don't directly compete, they can both use their name.


That logic also applies to Internet domain ownership, which in this case has been settled. The hair guy owns www.MarcAnthony.com.


That Anthony owns a popular Toronto hair salon and has won many awards, including the World Supreme Hair Styling Championship in 1989. The Marc Anthony True Professional line of hair care products sells in 25,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.


The other Anthony has recorded 12 gold or platinum songs since 1999. He currently ranks as the world's most famous salsa singer, thanks in part to his status as Jennifer Lopez's third husband. His official Web site, maintained by Columbia Records, is www.MarcAnthonyOnline.com.


As long as they don't confuse consumers, both men can use their same names to their advantage. After the Alma Awards, Anthony the singer took some of the other's namesake hair products home for his famous wife.


"I'm older than Marc Anthony, so I had my name first," boasted Anthony the stylist. But he added: "I've certainly upped my name-brand recognition since J.Lo fell in love with Marc Anthony."


Toddler TV
For parents, television isn't a terrible influence on children it's a tool to manage their time. According to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, parents use electronic media to occupy their kids around the house, keep peace in the family and facilitate routines such as eating, relaxing and falling asleep.


"The Media Family: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Their Parents" found that 61 percent of babies spend screen time on a typical day, watching an average of 1 hour 20 minutes. Among children between the ages of 4 and 6 years, 90 percent watch screen media for an average of about 2 hours per day.


In many homes, parents have created an environment where the TV is a constant presence, from the living room to the dining room to the bedroom. The study, which focused on children up to age 6 years, found that among this group 32 percent live in homes where the television is on all (13 percent) or most (19 percent) of the time. About the same proportion (30 percent) live in homes where the TV is on during meals all or most of the time. At night 12 percent of all children in this age group go to bed with the TV on at least half the time.


What about all that research showing TV inspires aggressive behavior? Most parents (53 percent) report that TV calms their child down, while only 17 percent say the tube gets the kid excited. Likewise, 66 percent of parents say they've seen their child imitate positive behaviors from TV, while only 23 percent say they've imitated aggressive behavior.


For marketers, the study indicates children this young really respond to advertising messages. Said one mother of a boy in Colorado: "He'll see something in a Burger King commercial. He'll tell me that we have to go to Burger King today. It doesn't matter what we're doing, we have to go."


That reality is not lost on TV producers and advertisers, for whom the 2- to 5-year-old set is a booming market. Parents who want an animated babysitter also see the potential of video on demand for their kids.


Not everyone sees the upside. Children's advocacy groups have battled the major media firms through the Federal Communications Commission for the past few years and the regulations shift on a nearly annual basis.


Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at jrussell@labusinessjournal .com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.

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