RICKLES HAMMERS HOME MESSAGE

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Rickles Hammers Home Message

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 . . .

Levi's 'Voodoo'

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.

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (213) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (213) 655-8157;

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