Absolut's renowned creativity is leaving Vail Resorts cold. Vail, sensitive after the skiing deaths of Michael Kennedy and Sonny Bono, is suing TBWA Chiat/Day in U.S. District Court in Denver over an ad the New York agency created for Seagram Americas' vodka. The ad, titled "Absolut Vail" and running in the February issue of Ski, shows a bottle wrapped in a cast. "We intend to vigorously defend the reputation of our company and our commitment to skier safety," Vail CEO Adam Aron proclaims in a release. The agency counters that the ad was created and placed before the two skiing tragedies, and it was able to pull the ad from 80% of those publications.
Why FCB may
FCB/LA, a fixture in the city since it began one of the industry's longest-lived relationships-Sunkist-in 1907, has offered to sublet its remaining office space to booming Suissa Miller, real estate insiders say. Suissa Miller already leases two-thirds of FCB's 60,000 square feet; Bruce Miller wouldn't discuss real estate except to say the agency for now doesn't plan to add space. FCB once was one of LA's biggest shops but has fallen back in recent years. Is FCB preparing to leave town? Possibly, says FCB's Thom Miller-hastily adding this is good news. FCB expects to land so much business in LA this year, he says, that it won't be able to handle the work in its shrunken space. So FCB's Miller says the shop might move inside the city or perhaps leave town for a suburb, such as El Segundo, where it could be close to its boy toy account, Mattel. FCB's neighboring Orange County full-service office, meanwhile, shut down Jan. 1 following FCB's resignation of Mazda. Office chief Welton Mansfield is gone, though he'll consult with FCB on select projects. All that remains in the Orange County space are 12 staffers working on FCB's new Taco Bell biz.
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Philips Electronics is scoping out ways to step up event sponsorships and movie product placements. Philips last year more than doubled its U.S. ad budget, and Ed Volkwein, exec VP-global brand mgmt. for N. America, says the company now is interested in select entertainment and sports sponsorships and tie-ins. Since staging a one-night sponsorship of a Bee Gees concert in November, Volkwein says, "we're being inundated by offers."
. . . GM siblings
Y&R/SF and sister company Landor are talking to Del Monte about its canned food biz. Will 81-year Del Monte agency McCann get canned so Y&R can get canned? The bad news doesn't stop there for McCann/SF: It's rumored to be losing another account, DFS Group. . . . BBDO/LA's David Lubars has hired away copywriter Mickey Taylor and art dir. Deb Hagen from TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice. . . . Robert and Russell Clark are GM brand managers. Or perhaps one is a line extension. In one of GM's better-kept secrets, the twin brothers have both been brand mgrs. since fall of '95. Russell handles Chevy Blazer. Bob is preparing the all-new '99 Olds Alero.
Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from James B. Arndorfer, Alice Z. Cuneo and Jean Halliday.
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