AD AGES

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IS THIS PORK FRESH OR IN A CANNES?

The National Pork Producers Council ran a Super Bowl spot showing a food taster who feigned being poisoned so he could be left alone to pig out on a pork feast. How inspired. And original? A nearly identical spot appeared at Cannes in 1993, titled "Court Taster" and created for KM Meat by, uh, Slovenia agency Formitas, Ljubljana. Did Bozell/Chicago steal the idea? That's "just silly," says senior partner Mark Williams. "Although I might be inclined to want to see that [KM Meats] ad now, it's not like we have anyone scoping out the Slovenian ad market," Mark says. "I know the origin of that ad and I can assure you it didn't come from there."

Apple kills Mac's poor Performa

Apple in April will kill Performa and consolidate its home PC line under Power Macintosh, the name used for its business and school machines. Ailing Apple since 1992 has spent tens of millions of dollars promoting Performa, created when sub-brands were the rage in computerland. But Performa's had an image problem: Many people think it's a second-class Mac even though recent models have the power of Power Macs. So Apple will focus on the Power Mac name across the board.

At least BBDO still has Apple

In 1994, BBDO stood by Apple and declined to pitch the $600 million IBM account. O&M got IBM. In 1995, BBDO went for Kodak's $50 million brand account, prompting Polaroid to fire BBDO. O&M got Polaroid. So then BBDO went after GTE's $80 million account, causing BBDO and AT&T to split early this month. O&M, of course, landed GTE.

Do the right thing (eat Wheaties)

General Mills is hawking Jackie Robinson Wheaties boxes to commemorate the 50-year mark for breaking the color barrier in baseball. Did he eat the breakfast of champions? No. "It was not substantial enough for breakfast," daughter Sharon Robinson explained at Wheaties' press conference. "Every day of his life, he ate grits and bacon and eggs." Pops, she hastily added, did eat Wheaties as a snack. Spike Lee, btw, was at the event. Since DDB does Wheaties, was he drumming up business for the new Spike/DDB? "No, this has nothing to do with it at all," Spike spat.

Netscape . . .

The boss

What was the conflict that caused Netscape and Euro RSCG Dahlin Smith White to split? Netscape says only that the issue arose last year after Euro bought DSW. Likely meaning: Netscape didn't like it that Euro RSCG's media buying service is U.K. agency of record for Microsoft. . . . Tommy Hilfiger is casting for a worldwide marketing head to take the brand into the next century. . . . More soft sell at Sears, which is expanding its successful Canyon River Blues jeans line into khakis. . . . So what do you call magazine magnate Robert Petersen (Adages, Feb. 10)? Old pals get to say "Pete," but we're told newer acquaintances should say "Bob." Wife Margie calls him "The Boss." Adages calls him Rich.M

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Bob Garfield, Carol Krol, Laura Petrecca, Judann Pollack, Laurel Wentz and Michael Wilke.

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (213) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (213) 655-8157;