Adages

By Published on .

Vice squad to Reebok celeb: That's a rap!

Another one bites the dust. O.J. Simpson is no longer a Hertz spokesman, and it appears that R. Kelly will no longer appear in Reebok spots. The Grammy-winning, sexually explicit R & B singer was arrested two weeks ago and indicted on 21 counts of child pornography for allegedly shooting a homemade video of himself frolicking with underage girls.

Meanwhile, a Reebok spot that featured R. Kelly and Tone, a music producer, was pulled from TV. In the ad, R. Kelly and Tone mix a track in a studio, then break out in a game of office hoops with a little squishy ball. R. Kelly also performed at the sneaker marketer's "Sounds & Rhythms of Style" party at the Eyebeam Atelier in New York earlier this year.

According to Peter Arnell, CEO of the Arnell Group, Reebok's ad shop, the R. Kelly ad was pulled long before the singer's indictment. "It was part of a retail campaign that's finished," Peter says. A copy of R. Kelly's homemade tape is now selling at your local bootleggers. For a copy of the Reebok ad, Advertising Information Services on New York City's Lexington Ave. can cut you a reel.

Hef gets a lube job

"It was just such a hoot!" giggles Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, about his latest star turn. Yep, the well-preserved Playboy lent his name to an unctuous billboard on Sunset Boulevard advertising Jiffy Lube-which, fortuitously, is located just by Virgin Records, points out Lee Kovel, chief creative officer, Kovel/Fuller, Culver City, Calif. The agency brainstormed the creative, sold the client, and then brought in Mr. Hefner-for a small consideration. "We agreed to lube him for life," said Tom Burney, treasurer of Jiffy-Lube's Southern Californian franchisees. We're sorry, Hef, but Adages must ask: Is the Viagra endorsement next? "I doubt it," he dismisses, but allows "it's the best legal recreational drug out there." What? Better than Pepsi? "I don't think Pepsi has the same significance later in the evening," Hef suggests. Happy motoring!

The HoneyMoonies

After more than a decade of serving as a dormitory for members of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, the classy old New Yorker Hotel has been renovated and is being run on a 15-year lease as a first class hotel by a group associated with Ramada Inn. Cox Advertising is running a clever print campaign for the digs that features stories about famous past guests such as John F. Kennedy, Babe Ruth and Nicolai Tesla, the man who invented AC, as in AC/DC. (Tesla died in the hotel.) The campaign is already hot. Cuban exiles, for instance, are whining about the ad that touts Fidel Castro as an old guest. "The hotel has been getting lots of complaints from Cuban groups," says Michael Migliozzi, executive creative director at Cox. "People were screaming about it." Fidel's suite was 3822, obviously not non-smoking, and FBI and CIA agents checked into adjoining rooms. The next print ad will feature JFK's suite number. Did Marilyn Monroe have an adjoining room? "We're researching that," Migliozzi says. "A photographer told us that she was there, but we haven't confirmed it yet." The hotel, which is still owned by the Unification Church, does not plan to run ads touting Honeymoonie suites. In 1982, Reverend Moon married over 4,000 Moonie couples in Madison Square Garden, right across the street.

Contributing: Jon Fine

For a good time, e-mail rlinnett@crain.com

Most Popular