Dilbert Creator Fools Execs With Soap Story

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Scott Adams doesn't just lampoon consultants in his Dilbert cartoon strip. He can also pose as one and be believable.

Adams, whose strip appears in 1,700 newspapers, spouted nonsense at a meeting with executives of a Silicon Valley company, and most of them - following the lead of their boss - nodded in agreement.

Adam's hoax last month at Logitech International, the world's biggest maker of computer mice, was described in the San Jose Mercury News' Sunday magazine, West.

Adams pulled off the deception with the cooperation of Logitech co-founder Pierluigi Zappacosta, who summoned executives to a meeting with Adams - alias Ray Mebert - to draft a new mission statement for Logitech's New Ventures Group.

Adams told the group his credentials included work on Procter & Gamble's "Taste Bright Project," a supposedly secret effort to boost sales by improving the taste of soap.

"There are some people who admitted in focus groups that they would sometimes taste soap," Mebert said.

Executives nodded in agreement.