With DaimlerChrysler now motoring over to BBDO Worldwide (AA, Nov. 6), FCB Worldwide's biggest client in its Southfield, Mich., office is outdoor outfitter Coleman Co. Agency watchers in Detroit say Coleman brass were concerned about the fate of the FCB office, and other agencies were circling to, as one observer put it, "see what they can pick from the FCB carcass." While Coleman only spent $2 million on media through August, according to CMR, that's way up from $56,500 for all of 1999. And don't douse FCB's Coleman campfire just yet. Coleman spokesman Jim Reid acknowledges his company has "had conversations" about the fate of the FCB office and "has received assurances from the agency that they will manage the business as planned." Coleman's parent, Sunbeam Corp., works with FCB, New York.
Bush-Gore board is crystal ball
He's no political pundit-just a billboard artist-but Mark Heckman was prescient with his recent ad work for several radio stations. The boards, erected late in September, weeks before the election, feature images of an apparently bewildered George W. Bush and Al Gore, with the message "Dazed and confused." Heckman designed the billboard out of his Heckman Design Studio, Grand Rapids, Mich. The idea was to promote classic rock stations using the famous song title from Led Zeppelin and suggest that neither candidate seemed charismatic enough to attract a majority of voters. The boards, appearing in several states, are staying put until the current presidential mess is over. "The radio guys are so excited about it," Heckman says. However, the planned election follow-up billboard, sporting the losing candidate's face with the line from a Tom Petty song "Even the losers get lucky sometimes," has been canceled. The "Dazed" signs have come to illustrate what Heckman calls the "electile dysfunction" resulting from the post-vote chaos. Heckman notes that political themes work well for radio stations' outdoor ads. During the Clinton impeachment fiasco, he created a board showing President Clinton peering at Monica Lewinsky's rear end as he puts his arm around her. The board used lines from classic rock songs like Journey's "Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin' " and Foreigner's "Feels Like the First Time."
Sexy Chivas ad shakes up Sydney
And on the other end of the world, an Aussie billboard for Chivas Regal whiskey appears to have sparked an anti-sexist graffiti campaign across Sydney. The board shows a woman from the bust down about to get out of a car. She's wearing a tight miniskirt, high heels and low-cut top. The ad reads: "Yes, God is a man." Some of the billboards, created by TBWA Worldwide, have been sprayed with messages such as "Yes, but God is not a sexist pig"; "No, God is a lesbian"; and "Man is a dog." Chivas Regal's Sydney office and the Advertising Standards Board have received complaints, including claims the ad is blasphemous as well as sexist. However, marketing experts say graffiti and controversy are just the sort of response that such suggestive advertising is designed to create, extending its reach, via free publicity, beyond the media buy. "Good advertising is designed to make an impact, and that is what we've done," says Ian Strachan, general manager of Seagram Pacific. However, he wouldn't comment on the ad's morality.
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