AD AGES

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ABERCROMBIE'S STREAK OF GENIUS

Abercrombie & Fitch seems to have forgotten the Latin scholar's maxim, "Semper ubi sub ubi" ("Always wear underwear"). The retailer's new boxers ad shows college boys streaking across the spread as girls cheer from the sidelines. "There's nothing suggestive about it," says Sam Shahid, boss of A&F shop Shahid & Co./NY. "This is all in good fun. It's wholesome." The ad plays into the reborn sport of streaking that is now streaking across college campuses, Shahid explains. The Bruce Weber photography is edgy, with what appears to be, well, pubic hair. "It's a shadow," Shahid stresses. Shahid bets the work will appeal to straight men, gay men and women. "We're all about our bodies," he says. "Men are very proud of that, and why not? We're not in the Dark Ages anymore." An A&F spokesman says the ad is not "overtly sexual," adding: "If there is some understated sexuality to it, it is a youthfulness, and not hard edged."

Carmichael keeps

piece of Sunbeam

So much for O&M/Chi. getting Sunbeam's entire $40 million account. A Sunbeam exec, speaking after boss Chainsaw Al's ouster, last month said everything was going to O&M after Sunbeam called off Dunlap's global review (AA, June 22). But First Alert, the smoke alarm maker acquired by Sunbeam late in Dunlap's term, is staying at Carmichael Lynch/Minneapolis. Doug Kellam, VP-GM of Sunbeam's health & safety biz, says new CEO Jerry Levin two weeks ago nixed the Dunlap-inspired directive to consolidate, and agreed to let First Alert keep Carmichael. "They've done a great job. There's no reason to change agencies," says Kellam, who hired the shop last year. He believes all other Sunbeam business now is at O&M, with First Alert the sole exception. But Carmichael might be able to pick off more business. "They may have a chance to bid on some of the other products," says Kellam, "and I will encourage them to do that."

Cable cars, or

what drives CNN

Adlink, which reps local cable systems, teamed with car data outfit R.L. Polk to match cable data with car ownership in LA. Adlink says it can determine the favorite cable channels for various drivers: Lexus owners most like A&E. BMW and Volvo owners favor E! Toyota everyday people watch Headline News. Caddy owners prefer CNN. And Honda drivers are attuned to VH1 and MTV.

No idea . . . writes of passage

Idea thieves take note: The delivery van used by LA shop Friedland Jacobs Communications has a warning on its doors saying, "Driver carries no ideas." . . . Illinois Power says it didn't pull the plug on its campaign (Adages, July 6), but merely delayed a "We're here for you" ad when a hot spell overstressed the region's electrical supply. Though its campaign suffered a short brownout, the utility says no customers lost juice. . . . Pasadena's Art Center College of Design, which has trained generations of art directors, will begin teaching copywriters this fall.

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Carol Krol and Michael Wilke.

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (323) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (323) 655-8157; or e-mail, brad@crain.com.

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