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Random Whimsy: The real truth about y2k
By Mark Woodruff, Special to AdBanter.com

NEW YORK - During the last several months of 1999, companies that rely on online ad banners to promote their products and services expressed concern that the millennium bug might create some technical snafus for their online advertising campaigns. The response from incredulous Y2K experts and advertising industry authorities alike had been a general scoffing with some eye-rolling and a healthy, audible dose of "Chuh! As if!"

However, as the arrival of the year 2000 did in fact wreak havoc to major online advertising campaigns around the country, it turns out that all those experts and specialists were "big fat liars" according to many in the online ad industry.

"They're all big fat liars," confirmed a frantic Jackie Nugent, a media buyer for Mediaocre Inc., in San Francisco. "I had this big banner campaign for my client all set up and ready to go this morning and suddenly-poof!-the whole thing just disappears from my laptop. It was the best thing I ever done and it's not my fault it's gone. It's Y2K's fault. I did the work, I swear. It's just gone and it's not my fault. It's really not my fault."

When asked again if the ad campaign's mysterious vanishing was her fault, Nugent said, "No, it was not."

Amazingly, the Y2K mishap that selectively wiped out Nugent's banner campaign left all other files and programs on her computer completely intact and unaffected. However, this seemingly discriminatory eradication of files is not abnormal, according to Armando Garza, a self-proclaimed Y2K expert and Nugent's fiancé. "Oh, sure, that K2Y thing is bad news when it comes to online ad campaigns. Especially advertising ones," said Garza between sips of MD 2020. "It's kind of like one of those virus things, like in that one movie about that one virus thing, only this one is really, really real. It wipes out all advertising computer banner … stuff."

When consulting with clients regarding Y2K issues, Garza recommends that all computer and telephone users rent the 1999 Keanu Reeves movie Matrix for a view of the extent to which Y2K repercussions eventually may extend. While not relevant to any particular Y2K issues, Garza also insisted that the movie Con Air is a "must see" and pretty much recommends any movie with Steven Segal.

As the new year continued to unfold, similar stories of banner mayhem played out in various parts of the country, with online media campaigns being significantly altered or even completely destroyed by the millennium bug. Such was the story at Above Average Media Inc., in New York, where a simple graphic on a banner ad fell victim to the Y2K quandary. Above Average Media Creative Director Thomas Blue was "completely and absolutely baffled" as to how an ad banner he created in late December for a major toy manufacturer showed up today on hundreds of Web sites mysteriously altered. The banner-for a talking stuffed animal called Kiko The Clam, whose popularity has unexpectedly plummeted-changed from, "Kids can't have a good time until they get The Clam," to the not-well-received, "Kids can't have a good time until they get The Clap."

Said an obviously perplexed Blue, "I have no idea how that banner got changed. Oh, sure, some people might say it was just a stupid typo and poor quality control on my part, but I think it's obvious to everyone, including my boss, that this was the result of the millennium bug and that it's just now showing up more than a week after the new year started and that absolutely no form of discipline whatsoever should be levied against me personally."



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