DRIVING DOWN CRIME IN NY

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If a cell-phone-equipped cabbie had spotted John Reisenbach on that horrible day in 1990, a tragedy might have been avoided. And nine years after Reisenbach was killed in Greenwich Village, the foundation created in his memory is trying to put phones in the hands of thousands of New York cab drivers. The John A. Reisenbach Foundation is teaming up with Sprint PCS and Cab Watch (www.cabwatch.org) to collect used phones that will be installed in taxis so drivers can call 911. Y&R's Eric Ericson and Anders Krisar created a pro bono campaign for the program. John Reisenbach, son of Warner Bros. mktg. & planning chief Sanford Reisenbach, was a 33-year-old VP-national ad sales at All-American Television when he was shot dead on July 30, 1990. Foundation Chairman Robert Lilley had known John Reisenbach since the latter's childhood, and says if Cab Watch had existed in 1990, "Maybe John would still be alive" or at least there "would have been a much better chance that someone would have seen [the killer] and turned him in." Reisenbach's murder remains unsolved.

Gazing hungrily at HP plum

Hewlett-Packard is set to get results of a global ad audit by Select Resources International, but HP Corp. Ad Mgr. Lisa Carr says no decision has been made about consolidating the estimated $375 million account. Odds favor consolidation: New Prez-CEO Carleton Fiorina, who helped build the Lucent brand, is unlikely to put up with HP's current approach, where each division picks its own shop. So who could get the biz? Insiders at HP's biggest shop, Saatchi & Saatchi/SF, are privately telling others in the local ad community they expect to land the whole deal. Saatchi/ SF chief Julie Bauer didn't return phone calls. One obvious candidate, Lucent shop McCann-Erickson Worldwide, isn't chasing a consolidated account. McCann, on the HP roster in Latin America, is working on global strategies for printers and also handles an HP spinoff, but Gateway and SGI conflicts preclude it from gobbling the whole HPie.

Baseball, beer & boffo billings

WPP Group sibs J. Walter Thompson Co. and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide took their friendly competition to the field last Tuesday in a softball slugfest on Wards Island, in the middle of the East River off Manhattan. JWT crushed the competition, 16-1. Meanwhile in the real ad world, both shops were scoring big, as in 95-60. That same day, adage.com reported the two agencies would be splitting a beer, as in Miller Lite for O&M ($95 mil in ad spending) and MGD for JWT ($60 mil) (see story on Page 3).

How APL will solve ad Dell-ays

Dell Computer Corp. seemed to be buying the first proposed campaign from new agency Ammirati Puris Lintas, NY -- till one rather key exec saw it and pulled the plug. "Michael Dell felt it was too hip," says an Ammirati insider, explaining the richest man in Texas wanted a more all-American, homespun approach. Ammirati is now implementing some new organizational methods, including more meetings involving Michael, Dell ad types and the agency.

Compiled by Dan Lippe with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Bradley Johnson, Beth Snyder and Carol Krol.

Got an Adage? Tell Dan by phone, (312) 280-3109; fax, (312) 649-5331; or e-mail,

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