Nissan's new slogan is "Driven." Short, descriptive and not original. Mack Trucks has used "Driven" as the tagline since hiring Bethlehem, Pa., shop Stiegler, Wells & Brunswick in late 1997. What's the agency make of TBWA/Chiat/Day's Nissan tag? "We noticed," says Stiegler VP-CD Jeff Odiorne. "We wondered what they noticed before they wrote it." Calling it a "strange coincidence," Odiorne is quick to say he's not accusing T/C/D of stealing the idea, noting two agencies independently may come up with the same concept. Mack has used the "Driven" theme widely in U.S. and international print advertising as well as on brochures, banners at dealerships and trade shows. Odiorne, who hasn't called T/C/D, says his client is concerned but has been too busy building trucks to take up the issue. (Mack's U.S. sales jumped nearly 20% last year; Nissan sales fell about 16%.) Mack and Nissan execs hadn't offered comment at deadline; a T/C/D spokesman says he wasn't aware of the Mack ads. At least the slogan stayed in the family: Mack is owned by Renault, which just bought a stake in Nissan.
Take Initiative, lose the race
Inc. last week held its 11th annual Inc. Hunt, and the winner wasn't Western Initiative Media. Teams of ad types raced through Manhattan in limousines in pursuit of clues based on Inc. 500 companies. The Western crew, racing to the finish line with answers in hand, ordered their driver to blow a red light. A cop pulled them over, argument ensued, driver got ticketed. The team missed the 9:30 p.m. deadline and was disqualified from the race. In case you're wondering why no Western advertising will run in Inc. during the next year.
Bruce Miller, a page for you
Is the Suissa/Miller prez taking his act on the road and into clients' ads? A spot for S/M's Nextel shows "Bruce Miller" rushing through the airport and using his pager on the fly. Art director Ron Mondz says S/M hired an actor and simply used Miller's name in the spot. Casting was for a white, late 40s, CEO type, with no intention to get a Bruce lookalike, Mondz says.
Staples . . . McCann . . . DOA
Staples says it has contacted agencies about a "specific local project" in New England but that the company is "not undergoing an agency review" and is "intending at this point to keep Cliff Freeman & Partners." "At this point." Hmmm. . . . The McCann account team for Hewlett-Packard's spinoff will be based in San Francisco but report to New York. McCann/SF's Ron Benza says the client wants to shift all work to SF over the next nine to 18 months. . . . Wilmington, Del., shop Aloysius Butler & Clark is hosting a grand opening bash in its new digs: the former Yeatman Funeral Home. Boasts the party invite: "We're putting the 'fun' back in 'funeral.' ". . . . Cheeky fitness advice from a story in Details: "You may want to target the muscle that makes your butt look round -- the large gluteus maximus (which is pretty easy to remember, since many people associate the word 'maxim' with asses)." Details Editor Mark Golin used to be one of the smart asses at Maxim.
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