NOW THE WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

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The client is always right, especially when He or She is omnipotent. The Smith Agency has plastered Broward County, Fla., with outdoor boards and bus ads quoting God. Actually, the Fort Lauderdale shop fabricated the quotes it's attributed to the Deity. Agency prez Andrew Smith says his shop devised the ads after a well-known local mortal, wishing to remain anonymous, "appeared in our office one day last spring and hired us" to create a non-denominational campaign to promote faith . . . "in a fun way." Creative Director Charlie Robb wrote 18 commandments, all attributed to God. "Creatively, our objective was not to preach to the audience," Robb says, "but rather to position God as a regular guy."

Georgescu is a Starr witness

Vernon Jordan, trying to place Monica L. in a NY post, told MacAndrews & Forbes chief Ron Perelman Ms. L was a "bright young girl who I think is terrific," according to the Starr report, and told an AmEx exec she was "a talented young lady." Indeed. But Y&R boss Peter Georgescu, also called, told Ken Starr that Jordan "did not engage in a `sales pitch' about Lewinsky." Jordan still secured a job interview at Y&R's Burson-Marsteller. The agency offered no job; maybe Monica didn't have the right oral and written skills. Not that Starr's written skills are flawless; his $40 million report misspelled both "Burson-Marstellar" and "McAndrews & Forbes."

Dell denies DDB, confirms BBDO

How rocky was the brief relationship between JWT and Dell VP Scott Helbing? Helbing, hired in January, is said to have approached DDB Needham/Dallas in March, implying DDB could be in line for the biz if it resigned Digital, which Compaq was in the process of buying. DDB, already in pursuit of its winning pitch for Compaq, declined. Helbing, asked if Dell had considered pursuing DDB, late last week denied Dell spoke with the agency. He did formally confirm Dell officially hired BBDO to replace JWT (AA, Sept. 14). That means Dell for the second time has hired an Apple cast-off. After Apple switched from Chiat/Day to BBDO, Dell in 1988 hired Chiat/Day's SF office, now Goldberg Moser O'Neill, for product ads. It picked BBDO for brand ads a year after Apple bounced BBDO and returned to TBWA C/D.

A mistake . . . the other Al

A message flashing on an electronic billboard on Sunset Blvd. last week implied that a "Brian Morris" was, uh, involved in inappropriate activities with a copywriter. But the message did not refer to well-known LA ad exec Brian Morris. "It was one of those innocent mistakes," said adman Cliff Freeman, whose agency ran the ad for Sauza tequila after getting approval from another Brian Morris to use the name. The ad was quickly pulled when the mistake was realized. . . . After ex-Sunbeam and ex-Scott Paper chief Al Dunlap bailed out as keynote speaker, Electronic Retailing Association subbed in another veteran of the paper mills: ex-Gannett boss Al Neuharth. "I am not Chainsaw Al Dunlap," substitute Al told the infomercial convention.

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

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (323) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (323) 655-8157; or e-mail, brad@crain.com.

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