SATURN ADS CAUSE DOUBLE TAKE

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Saturn got a lot of buzz when it mounted hollowed-out versions of its new LS on billboards, created by Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco. But that car-on-the-wall thing looked like deja vu for Honda and its agency, Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif. Rubin Postaer Principal and CD Larry Postaer found it oddly reminiscent of a past Honda TV spot with an Accord seen mounted on an art-gallery wall, then driving away. "It looks like the middle of our commercial," he said. "They must have gone to the same guy that did our tire tracks."

Will the end times have advertising?

Curiously strong ads aren't the only thing Steffan Postaer writes. The man who brought Altoids and its body builders and she-devils to the fore is at it again -- this time with a novel about the end of the world. The 37-year-old creative director and SVP for Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, is tight-lipped about "The Last Generation," a 350-page epic about, well, the last folks to inhabit the earth. "My dream is to see a businessperson at LaGuardia go to a shop and get a can of Altoids and a paperback of my book. Then I can die happy."

Goodby examines its oldest account

With the San Francisco Examiner's fate in limbo, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners is about to lose its longest-running account. In its early days as Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein in the mid-80s, the agency launched its own brand with a quirky and highly publicized campaign for the Examiner featuring then-Editor Will Hearst talking to a picture of his grandfather, founder of the family newspaper and magazine empire. Delivery trucks still bear an old theme line the agency developed: "A lot could happen between 9 and 5."

Did somebody say . . . brands?

Kansas schools may be in a twist about evolution, but out on the Left Coast, brands are in danger of extinction in the classroom. The California Legislature passed a bill last week that would ban the mention of brands or logos in textbooks, unless the California State Board of Education gives its OK. The bill, now on Gov. Gray Davis' desk, was introduced by a legislator enraged that a math word problem in a textbook currently used in the state mentioned a popular brand of shoe -- you know, the ones with the swoosh.

On the menu . . . eating it up

With McCann-Erickson's San Francisco office merged with Anderson & Lembke, the new operation finds itself with the acronym MEAL on its plate. . . The Tri-State Ford Dealers group and the New York Restaurant School fed off each other during a recent TV shoot. Gallagher Group went to the school to shoot a spot for the dealers' fall campaign, which shows a student running all over town searching for ingredients. The school, whose name and logo were featured in the ad, contributed a meal of duck a l'orange for the shoot, which the crew "dismantled" when the shoot ended at lunchtime.

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