2 Was it all a Mirage?
The Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized plans by a Columbus, Ohio, Mitsubishi dealership to run a jihad-themed radio commercial. The spot from Dennis Mitsubishi was to proclaim "jihad" on the U.S. auto market. The dealership wouldn't comment, but an employee said the spot was "not out for public listening."
3 Miller on the march
Miller Brewing Co. found an innovative way to reach the Hispanic market: by sponsoring a 45-mile march in support of undocumented immigrants. Miller paid more than $30,000 to back the Immigrant Workers Justice Walk, the Chicago Tribune reported. "It doesn't mean we are selling the movement out," an organizer said.
4 Friendly fire
Two of Russia's most potent exports-vodka and the AK-47 assault rifle-have combined their cachet in Kalashnikov vodka. Octogenarian Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47, is lending his name to the vodka, now available in the U.K. The bottle bears the image of the general, not his gun.
5 Speedo-meter meets E-meter
The Nascar nation is ripe for "auditing," and not by the IRS. The Church of Scientology sponsored the "Ignite Your Potential" Dianetics Racing Team on a low-level Nascar circuit. Team driver Kenton Gray says the Dianetics philosophy espoused by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard helped him in his racing.
6 Gas pains
GM's Chevrolet got a good taste of the vagaries of consumer-generated content via a promotion for its 2007 Tahoe. An online contest asked consumers to create spots for the SUV, and of the 20,000-plus submitted, about 3,000 were negative, with titles such as "How Big Is Yours?" and "WWJD" (What Would Jesus Drive?).
7 Leaving a bad taste
Pharmaceutical giant Bayer won't continue its sponsorship deal with the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Bayer's Alka-Seltzer last year sponsored the group's U.S. speed-eating championship. One of the federation's top "athletes" is Takeru Kobayashi, who this year ingested 97 hamburgers in eight minutes.
8 On Cleveland's water front
Fie on Fiji Water, Clevelanders said, after the Los Angeles marketer had some fun with the city in a magazine ad. "The label says Fiji because it's not bottled in Cleveland," said the ad. Cleveland officials then tested Fiji Water and said they found traces of arsenic (well within federal safety guidelines). Fiji pulled the ads.
9 Mission accomplished
An arson squad was called in to blow up a Los Angeles Times newspaper machine that was part of a promotion for "Mission: Impossible III." The stand was fitted with a device that would play the "M: I III" theme song, but in this case, it was mistaken for a bomb. Said one Times exec: "I think Paramount is pretty happy about it."
10 Dr. Z you later
Chrysler Group spent at least $100 million in media backing its summer "Ask Dr. Z" ad campaign with DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche. But critics panned the spots as silly, and the blitz failed to prevent the automaker's massive third-quarter loss. Chrysler bid auf Wiedersehen to Dr. Z TV ads in late summer.