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Who's that in the fancy pants?

Who really wears the pants over at Cliff Freeman & Partners? Recently, Mr. Freeman showed up in the office wearing a pair of trousers that put all doubts to rest. Cliff is the real thing. Mr. Freeman was sporting a pair of Coca-Cola pants, circa 1970, given to him as a gift by the daughter of Pete Regan, his exec VP-general manager. "She was in Europe and found them in a thrift store," explained Mr. Freeman. "They are the most outrageous things." Mr. Freeman bravely donned the spangled drawers and paraded around the office to celebrate the airing of the agency's first Coca-Cola campaign. Coincidentally, Mr. Freeman's first job in advertising was at McCann-Erickson, writing copy for the Coke pants promotion in 1970. "Is that cool or what?" Mr. Freeman enthused.

Leaping to the silver screen

What to do during a vacation? Why not make a movie! "Thompson gave me a month off so that I could shoot this script I wrote," says Peter Cohen, a former senior producer at J. Walter Thompson USA in New York. After a 15-day shoot in 1998 for "Whipped," which opened Sept. 1, Mr. Cohen went right back to the agency grind, but only for a while. He left the agency this year to devote his attention to finishing the film. "It's a semi-realistic portrayal of the dating scene in New York and how ridiculous it can be and at the same time how disturbing it can be," says Mr. Cohen, who's now been commissioned to pen a comedy script for producer Robert Zemeckis and Dreamworks. And he hasn't totally left advertising: He's been signed as a director of commercials by RSA Independent.

Betsey divides her car loyalties

Fashion designer Betsey Johnson is readying a custom interior and exterior Chevrolet Cavalier for General Motors' Concept:Cure breast cancer research fund-raiser that kicks off this month during NY's Fashion Week. But the designing woman, who owns a classic Mercedes-Benz, also voluntarily appeared in Mercedes-Benz USA's Starmark certified used-car infomercial that recently bowed from Rapp Collins, New York. Benz, which asked Betsey a year ago to participate, has no formal contract with her, said a GM spokeswoman.

Mercedes takes road to Mandalay

Speaking of Benz, the upscale car marketer seems to be sparing no expense to pump its dealers up about selling the next generation C-Class, due in fall. Benz tapped New York's EventQuest to run the massive five-day event in Las Vegas starting Sept. 10. The outfit that handled the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta will use an 1890s British Mandalay Bay theme for the dealer gig. It custom designed everything -- furniture, draperies and ceramic dishes.

A different kind of summer games

Rest easy knowing the world's Olympians will be safe this month in Sydney. Ansell Australia, as an official sponsor of the 2000 Olympics, is providing 50,000 condoms, along with educational leaflets, to athletes and medical personnel. Ansell also is introducing a new LifeStyles Sport condom.

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