If your store is called Rickel, who are you gonna get as pitchman? How about Don Rickles? The Northeast's Rickel Home Centers over the weekend launched a $6 million to $10 million radio and print campaign featuring Mr. Warmth. Rickel, climbing out of Chapter 11 against intense competition from Home Depot, wants to make noise. But it has a slight image problem: 20% of potential customers think the chain's going out of business. PR man Jerry Schwartz of G.S. Schwartz/NY suggested the Don of Sarcasm for the new campaign, developed with Public Sector Solutions/NY. VP-mktg./adv. Greg Hanselman bets the caustic comic will connect: "He's having fun, but it's not offensive."
Ingalls is in the Sun spot light
Sun Microsystems' new TV campaign is from interim agency Ingalls Moranville/SF. Sun ad boss Tracey Stout knows Rob Ingalls from when he ran Saatchi/SF's creative and she worked on the Hewlett-Packard account. Does Ingalls have an advantage over co-finalists Kirshenbaum Bond, Lowe and TBWA in Sun's $60 million to $70 million review? "The bidding process will be a level playing field," says corp. comm./brand chief John Loiacono. "No one has a leg up."
Big bucks for Interpublicly held
Interpublic's McCann-Erickson paid $16.5 million to Larry Weber to buy PR outfit Weber Group last December, says an SEC filing. McCann also paid $11.3 million for branding consultancy Diefenbach Elkins. Interpublic, meanwhile, shelled out $86 million in stock for DraftDirect; ex-owner Cordiant got a fourth of that, boss Howard Draft took $27 million and prez Daniel Ginsburg, $20 million.
What was Lubars doing at Chiat?
Was BBDO West chief David Lubars talking with TBWA Chiat/Day? Yes. Is he looking at other jobs? He emphatically says no. Lubars says he & BBDO CEO Allen Rosenshine simply paid a social call to the sister Omnicom shop to trade ideas with Lee Clow on how TBWA can land Sun and BBDO can help fix one-time Chiat client Apple.
The taste of leather caps it all
Coke has the contour bottle. Now, Beverage Source Int'l boasts a contour cap. Its new Rawlings Sports drinks will be topped with caps shaped like balls. (Rawlings drinks? Will they taste like a wet baseball glove?) BSI says it's also in talks with Walt Disney and Lucasfilm for Mickey Mouse and Darth Vader caps, and is pursuing McDonald's.
Ameritech . . .
Ameritech wants commitment before it makes a commitment: The review questionnaire from Morgan Anderson asks agencies to guarantee they'll stay in the review if they become a finalist. . . . Toshiba, to build awareness for its new DVD video player, next month breaks its first infomercial nationally, via Williams Worldwide. . . . FCB's $500,000 "Voodoo" spot for Levi's, held back because of its portrayal of blacks, now is running as a :90 in East Coast and Euro movie houses.
Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Mark Gleason, Jeff Jensen and Pat Sloan.
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