Fuse, Amalgamated Take It All Off

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Fuse "Too hot for TV."
If you've been wondering what music channel Fuse and agency Amalgamated could possibly do to top the stir they created by parodying Apple's iPod campaign or running confrontational billboards across from MTV's headquarters, here's your answer: Uncensored nudity.

A new infomercial, directed by HKM's Jacobs/Briere via Canadian prodco New New Films, takes its cues from "Girls Gone Wild," as one man and three women punctuate their praise of Fuse by flashing the camera. On TV, the action is obscured by censor bars, but it's not on Fuse's "Totally Uncensored Advertisement" DVD, which -- as the commercial tells you -- you can order via a toll-free number. And you really can. And it's really uncensored (or so we hear), featuring not only the commercials, but other "Girls Gone Wild" fare like outtakes and footage from casting sessions. At $29.99, it's not exactly priced to sell, but Amalgamated creative director Jason Gaboriau says there have already been some takers. "I want people to buy it," he says. "I think the DVD is hilarious."

While the campaign may seem to be all about shock value -- and, no question, it is shocking, particularly for a channel owned by a media conglomerate like Cablevision -- Gaboriau says that it started out as a solution to a media problem. "We wanted to advertise on other networks and we wanted to go national. We don't have a lot of money, so we decided to go the direct response route." The infomercial idea killed two birds with one stone, cutting the media budget in half and making it harder for competing operators to turn the ad down, since it actually sells a product. And if you're in the late night infomercial space, Gaboriau explains, you might as well try to blend in with "Girls Gone Wild" and other "too hot for TV" offerings. "To us, that's the whole trick," he says. "It all came out of the media and the rest of it kind of fell into place."

Now the only question seems to be who will take the calls from the media when word about the campaign gets out. Outspoken Fuse president and New York Post fixture Marc Juris recently departed to assume the role of general manager at Court TV.

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