BUILD A BOOTH? NO PROBLEM ATOLL

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When client Red Lobster invited Euro RSCG Tatham to a recent gathering of 900 store managers in Orlando, the agency crew learned upon arrival the meeting had a trade show-like setup and required a booth. But the Tathamites are a resourceful bunch -- they won the account after sneaking into the pitch at the last possible moment -- so agency skipper Gary Epstein and his staffers went to work. Their result, cheek-to-jowl with more traditional booths from vendors like Coca-Cola, Budweiser and the Orkin man, was straight out of "Gilligan's Island": a thatch-roof hut propped up by bamboo poles.

This Bud idea's for you, Pepsi

Credit Bud Light agency DDB Needham with an assist on Pepsi-Cola's launch of its allegedly less filling, tastes great Pepsi One, otherwise known as Diet Pepsi in denial. To get men to sample the soft drink, Pepsi's setting up lounges in 100 malls, furnished with inflatable couches, TV sets and barrels of Pepsi One. Steve Fund, Pepsi One's director of marketing, said the idea was borrowed from the recent Bud Light spot from Needham that has a bored-to-tears boyfriend shopping with his girlfriend but then discovering a den of men gathered under a dress rack watching football, grilling some hot dogs and pounding back some brews.

Beyond Raggedy, to Tragedy Ann

What do you get the goth girl who has all the black mascara, 1,000-proof sunblock and anti-depressants she needs? Tragedy Ann, a gloomy ragdoll from Hot Topic, the mall-based retailer specializing in fringe culture. Tragedy Ann comes pasty-pale, with a velvet dress, bondage collar and toe tag. Hot Topic accessories buyer Karen Kiefaber got the idea while people-watching at Disneyland's new Tomorrowland. There she saw a goth girl with a homemade doll. Tragedy Ann sells for $19.99. And yes, Tragedy Andrew is on his way.

A film role that's to Di for

An outfit called Creative Concern is pitching studios on a "super-realistic" animated film called "Princess Diana Saves The World," in which Princess Di rounds up the other "icon angels" -- Elvis, JFK and John Lennon among them -- to save Earth from destruction. Creative Concern's dead serious Carman David Gallo says he doesn't have permission yet from the estates in question, but opines, "I imagine when they see our proposal and trailer, only a sourpuss or a really difficult entity wouldn't approve."

A `sorry, sorry' situation at `Spin'

The Nov. issue of Spin has an apology to Courtney Love of alt rock band Hole for alluding on its Oct. cover to unsubstantiated crackpot allegations that Love murdered her hubby, grunge icon Kurt Cobain, who police said killed himself. Spin editor Michael Hirschorn also apologized to survivors of teen suicides for an image in its Sept. fashion issue that parodied "sex play that showed a model engaging in auto-erotic asphyxiation." Hirschorn writes the issues "led to a fair amount of soul-searching" and concludes the mag sometimes underestimates its impact on younger readers. He assures: "We'll be more careful in the future."

Compiled by Jeff Jensen with contributions from Louise Kramer and Judann Pollack.

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