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MADD Roswell tale of alien -- aw -- tipsy

Minneapolis agency Clarity Coverdale Fury has blown the lid off the Roswell coverup -- it really was a UFO that crashed in New Mexico in 1947, piloted by an alien who was DWII, driving while intoxicated interstellarly. Actually, the photo of the crashed saucer, besotted "gray" and his beer bottle is an ad for Mothers Against Drunk Driving targeting college students. "It's not unusual" to use humor in MADD advertising, says CD Jac Coverdale. "We've done a lot of advertising for MADD over the years, and it can range from putting a picture of a family of four that was killed by a drunken driver on a billboard to something lighter." Most of his shop's MADDvertising is targeted at the 35-and-under crowd, Coverdale says, adding, "The gloom and doom message of `Drink and drive, and you'll get killed' isn't always effective [for college students] . . . [They] don't want to be preached to." Clarity Coverdale Fury has done pro bono work for MADD, mostly the local chapter, since the mid-'80s, but the Roswell ad is being used by the national organization in college newspapers and posters on campus. Coverdale also says future plans may include a Roswell TV spot.

Ribbing at retail ad conference

GSD&M prez and founder Roy Spence took to the stage at the Retail Advertising & Marketing Association's Retail Advertising Conference in Chicago, sermonizing on why drinking on the job is a good thing: It provides an incentive to go to work, encourages car pooling, lessens inhibitions among the work force and has one additional bonus: "Bosses will give out big raises when they're wasted." Spence also got into some of the details of his negotiations with client Wal-Mart: They "start from free and work down from there." The ad exec added he was only kidding on both counts.

A half-century as Motown adman

How long can an ad career last? Ask Ernie Baker, an exec VP at BBDO's Detroit area office, who entered the Motown agency scene in 1948 and has worked on the Standard Federal Bank account for 40 years. Baker kept a diary of his career, and that helped him write the just-published "A 50-Year Adventure in the Advertising Business." Baker has worked at several agencies and on major Detroit accounts including Stroh's beer. He worked on Little Caesars in 1966 when it was a start-up in the pizza biz. He says Doyle Dane Bernbach didn't let on it was in big doo-doo on the VW account when DDB joined BBDO under the Omnicom umbrella in 1990. Baker moved over to BBDO in 1993 from DDB.

Dollars, scents in annual report

McCormick & Co. brings more scents to its bottom line with its 1999 annual report, infused with the aroma of cinnamon. The international purveyor of spices and flavorings has been creating the scented reports since the '70s, highlighting the fragrances of its product line. Scents of previous annual reports have ranged from peppermint to pumpkin pie spice to curry powder and even Chinese Five Spice. To apply the scent, Schmitz Press, Baltimore, rolls a varnish-like substance over the pages after the ink dries. The approach makes sense for a spice merchant whose wares are so pleasingly pungent, but it's not for every annual report. Some should stick to the aroma of fresh ink and paper. Like Waste Management Inc.

Got an Adage? Tell Dan by phone, (312) 280-3109; fax, (312) 649-5331; or e-mail, dlippe@crain.com.

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