Fort James had to revise its Bounty-slamming Brawny towel spot after Bounty maker P&G complained to the networks (AA, April 26). So what's the problem? One of the grannies in the "Grandmother" spot died a couple months after the shoot. Maybe P&G figured the death would prevent Fort James from recutting the spot, since P&G said its rival would have to "pull" the commercial. But savvy sorts at DDB/NY and Fort James shot alternative versions when they produced the commercial, making it easy to recut the spot minus a direct attack on Bounty. Moral: If you make spurious claims using elderly actors, get some alternative footage in the can.
It pays to be McCanned
AT&T fired McCann in late '97, moving $140 million in McCann work to FCB and Y&R. End of story? Not quite, given how McCann has neatly exploited AT&T and telecom connections. AT&T in '96 assigned McCann most of its Lucent spinoff; Lucent last year consolidated the entire estimated $75 million account at the agency. When AT&T exec Jeffrey Weitzen joined Gateway as prez last year, he promptly moved the estimated $90 million PC account to McCann. The agency late last year landed $250 million in business from Sprint. Last week, McCann snared the estimated $60 million business of a Hewlett-Packard spinoff -- based in large part on McCann's winning work for Lucent. Score: Lose $140 mil, win $475 mil. Net gain: $335 mil.
We (almost) never do animal testing
John Paul Mitchell likes to talk about how it won't sell haircare products tested on animals. So how can it be selling the new John Paul Mitchell Rogaine (see story on Page 26), since FDA required Rogaine to go through testing on (bald?) animals? Mitchell made an exception to its policy, and CEO John Paul DeJoria got the sign-off of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Mitchell has pledged never again to market any products tested on animals, and DeJoria arranged a meeting between Peta and Rogaine maker Pharmacia & Upjohn so the group could make its case about animal tests.
Hoffenberg . . . Rush . . . drunk
Harvey Hoffenberg, creative vet of Bozell, Saatchi and BBDO, opened an L.A. commercial production house, Propulsion. . . . Rush Limbaugh will be among the personalities in a new Nike spot from Wieden to promote cross-training shoes. The spot is meant to dispel stereotypes. Guess we'll all learn Rush is really a skinny, flaming liberal. . . . As expected, Hewlett-Packard hired Select Resources Intl. to work on an "advertising agency and advertising management audit" (AA, April 26). HP's Lisa Carr hopes to finish the study around the time a new CEO shows up later this year, allowing HP to present the new boss with recommendations. . . . eToys is running 20%-discount coupons in Sunday newspaper inserts, latching onto something old to sell something new. . . . Better than a three martini lunch? Latina Mag invites media planners to board a bus on Cinco de Mayo for an inebriating search for the best margarita served at Manhattan's Mexican joints.
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