Transom (9)

News bits from around Minnesota.

“Where the Excitement Ends and the Jealousy Starts”: In a full-page New York Times ad in late September, Minneapolis ad shop Barrie D’Rozario Murphy needled its fellow winners of the American Association of Advertising Agencies award. “Small Agency of the Year” BDM confessed that it would rather have been mid-sized or large agency of the year, because ”they get to charge three times what we do for the same work” and have agency heads who “just show up at pitches . . . and then disappear.” Like the headline says: “Congratulations, BBDO and Bartle Bogle Hegarty. We’re coming after you.”

Two Bets on Downtown Retail: Both are being made by Len Druskin, the Galleria clothier that opened its first downtown Minneapolis store, Len Druskin Man, in Gaviidae Common three years ago. Based on sales there, the company planned an early October opening for a new LD Len Druskin women’s store in Gaviidae Common II, and an early November opening for a much larger (7,000 square feet) Len discount store in City Center.

Best Buy is adding its consumer electronics know-how to the new Target Field. The Twins will install more than 625 customized and computer-linked LCD displays—developed by and purchased from Best Buy—throughout the stadium. Unique capabilities, according to the Twins, will allow the team to send targeted content to a single display or to a “zone” of displays.

Cargill and Kentucky-based Yum! Brands have agreed to head a newly formed Business Council to End Global Hunger, part of the Friends of the World Food Program, a nonprofit that builds U.S. support for the United Nations’ World Food Program. The companies say they will recruit other private-sector entities and advocate for specific funding increases and other steps from the U.S. government.

Chris Gardner, whose bestselling memoir The Pursuit of Happyness became the Will Smith movie of the same name, is now the first celebrity designer for Minneapolis-based EyeBobs reading glasses. The Chris Gardner will be part of the 2010 fall collection, with 75 percent of the price going to the San Francisco church, Glide Memorial, that helped Gardner and his son when they were homeless.

Independent Natural Resources, Inc., an early-stage company in Eden Prairie that developed the Seadog Pump to convert ocean wave energy into electricity, has set up a subsidiary to desalinate and bottle ocean water. INRI expects its Texas-based business, Renew Blue, Inc., to be a pioneer in solving a growing global fresh-water shortage while relying on renewable ocean energy for its manufacturing process.

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