The Texas Rangers are hot on the trail of Bill Cavenagh. Actually, just one Ranger, the TV variety named Walker. Cavenagh's alleged crime? Impersonating tough guy actor Chuck Norris, star of CBS' "Walker, Texas Ranger." Cavenagh-known affectionately as "Uncle Chuck" by his nephews because of his resemblance to the actor-is a factory worker in Marengo, Ill. But he has also taken advantage of his Norris-like looks to star in commercials for a car dealership in Beloit, Wis. Norris' forces flushed out Cavenagh when the latter applied to Amadea Film Productions to be an extra on "Walker." He was asked to send promotional materials, so enclosed several :30s for Bryden Motors, in which he portrays "The Bryden Ranger." Norris' law firm responded by telling Cavenagh to cease and desist from using the star's image for promotional purposes. Bryden Motors has already pulled its latest spot starring Cavenagh, and the law firm is monitoring the situation. "I thought I had nothing to hide," Cavenagh laments. As as far as his ad career, "it's been shot down to nothing."
Celebrating at park place
Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners is putting itself out on the street to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Instead of using a trendy restaurant, the agency is holding its party Sept. 17 in a small park facing its offices in New York's SoHo. The agency has even agreed with the local business improvement district to "adopt" the park-actually an oversize traffic island just north of the Lincoln Tunnel that has been gentrified with brick, trees and benches. The staff at Kirshenbaum is putting in a load of overtime this month, organizing the anniversary party and another party Sept. 9 at the Art Directors' Club, which kicks off a monthlong retrospective of the agency's work. That party also celebrates the election of Kirshenbaum exec CD Bill Oberlander as chairman of the club.
Ad medium flush with opportunity
There are bucks to be made even when your career is in the toilet. Witko Indoor Advertising of Southfield, Mich., is selling ads above urinals and on toilet stall doors in more than 60 Detroit restaurants. Witko pitches the ability to target ads based on an establishment's demos. Price: $37 to $43 per ad per month. Not a new scheme, however. Similar stall tactics were tried in upscale NY restaurants, among other places, back in the '70s.
R.I.P. Nero . . .
Si Newhouse's beloved pug, Nero, has passed on. Nero, you may recall, earlier this year choked on a bone but survived (Adages, March 31). This dog led the high life, once basking as the star guest at a party thrown by former Self editor Alexandra Penney. . . . . Just how politically incorrect is it to smoke these days? In a promotion in San Francisco, Brown & Williamson is giving away a Special Edition Lucky Strike Gibson guitar at 10 bars. The small print at the bottom of the ad for the promotion reads, "Gibson does not endorse the use of tobacco." But what about the sex and drugs part of rock 'n' roll?
Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Mercedes M. Cardona, Scott Donaton, Jean Halliday, Chuck Ross and Dan Lippe.
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