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The cynical moviegoing adperson might wonder how much Tic Tac dough filmmakers got for giving the breath mint its own little scene in "The Wood." In the Paramount-MTV Films-Bona Fide Productions movie, a group of high school friends discuss how using Tic Tac is an important tactic in successful dating. But Ferrero USA paid not a cent. "We have no product placement program with anybody," says Mktg. Dir. Brad Maslan. Paramount came to Ferrero for a release, Ferrero reviewed the Tic Tac scene and gave its OK. The mintmaker plans no ads touting its film role, Maslan says, but it did dispatch the Tic Tac Street Team, created earlier to give out samples and Tic Tac merchandise, to a media screening of "The Wood" in NY last week. The team also is likely to pop up at some theaters where the movie is playing.

Saturday night TV

with the Saatchis

Now switch to TV. How about a 90-minute special on lions of the . . . ad industry? Zzzzzzzzzzz, unless you're a Brit and the stars are the infamous Saatchi boys. An unflattering, hard-hitting documentary on Charles and Maurice scored well. "The Real Saatchis: Masters of Illusion" aired this month on the U.K.'s Channel 4, and according to its preliminary figures, the program had an average audience of 800,000. Channel 4 officials say those are particularly good figures for a business program on a Saturday night. Explains Martin Stott, senior press officer at Channel 4: "If you asked people in the street to name an advertising agency, it would probably be Saatchi & Saatchi. It was a good story of the rise and fall of the agency." The Saatchis are well-known to the average punter (man in the street) in large part because of the advertising the brothers created for Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party.

CME's Clubhouse

aids child labors

Hey adkids, Campbell Mithun Esty has the clubhouse for YOU. The Minneapolis agency this month opens the KidCom Clubhouse, a youth-market-focused "think tank." CME hired Art-Tech Productions to design an area that would help staffers recapture their youthful creativity and tap into the youth market. For adults, there are such amenities as video equipment and a two-way mirror to view focus groups. For the kid lurking within, there are ropes, plywood and bright colors.

Adguys bemoan

dot-coms' dash

Though not normally averse to snatching up new business, some Web-weary agency execs are vexed at the deluge of dot-coms raring to hire ad shops. "I've turned into such a cynic," says Harold Sogard, general manager of SF's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, who was recently solicited to handle advertising for companies including Homebid.com, an online auction of homes and other real estate. Publicis & Hal Riney's Scott Marshall says he's not sure the companies have a clue about what they need from an ad agency, except perhaps simply to hire one to improve the IPO take. Eric Roos, partner at start-up shop Swirl, says it's gotten to the point that dot-coms cold-call agencies and promise to award them the business just for setting up an appoint-ment. "It isn't so much can we get it," he laments, "as should we take it."

Got an Adage? Tell Dan by phone, (312) 280-3109; fax, (312) 649-5331; or e-

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