CULTURE POP: MOVIE MARKETING: MUSTACHE ADS INSPIRE PARODY FOR 'REVOLUTION'

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Imitation is either the sincerest form of flattery, or plagiarism. The difference depends on if you're talking to Miramax Films or Bozell, New York, agency for the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board.

To launch its Cold War black comedy "Children of the Revolution," Miramax crafted a print ad campaign that spoofs the milk group's famed "milk moustache" campaign, created by Bozell. The flick is a fictional tale about an Australian woman whose fling with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin produces a son.

Faced with promoting a tough sell, Miramax Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein, President of Marketing Mark Gill, and in-house agency creative head John Fahy came up with a clutter-bursting concept for "Revolution": a spoof with the film's lead characters sporting bushy, Stalinesque mustaches.

Even the tagline-"Where's your mustache?"-and the copy style borrows from Bozell's campaign. An ad that features actor F. Murray Abraham, who plays Stalin, has the headline, "Gulag, schmulag."

The movie opened May 2 in six theaters in New York and Los Angeles, grossing $33,000, decent for an art-house film.

"Revolution" spread into 11 other cities last weekend, and will go wider in upcoming weeks.

"We like to think that it's a loving homage to the 'milkstache' campaign," said Mr. Gill. "We haven't heard from them yet, but we hope they're flattered."

"Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery," said Jay Schulberg, Bozell's chief creative officer, for whom this has become old hat.

But Mr. Schulberg was stunned by the scope of the Miramax campaign, from the mustache to the typeface.

Still, "As long as it's done in good taste, they won't hear from us," he said. "From our perspective, [imitators] just help to reinforce people's awareness of

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