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Cross platform cross dressing

Hot Argentine creative Dario Lanis pitched a curious TV commercial idea to Latin America's Cable Bureau. The scenario involved a macho group of executives who attempt to rescue their company from insolvency by dressing up as women and soliciting customers on street corners. The smarter solution, according to the tongue-in-cheek spot, is to spend ad dollars wisely on cable TV. Lanis, partner and creative director at Craverolanis Euro RSCG in Buenos Aires, made little headway getting the 40 different cable channels belonging to the Cable Bureau to all agree to the ad until he turned up at a client meeting in a long black wig, tight red top, fetching miniskirt and stiletto heels.

His 40 clients immediately signed off on the spot but stipulated that Lanis, a gorgeous brunette, must star in the commercial. He obliged, although he found it so difficult to walk in high heels that he had to be carried everywhere. The spot is now running throughout Latin America, but it didn't even make the shortlist at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes. If only Lanis, who is about to become a father for the first time, had brought his wig and mini-skirt to Cannes to impress the judges.

Pay it forward

Arnell Group recently won some Chrysler business, according to the agency and its brand new parent Omnicom Group. But as far as the client is concerned, it isn't about to cut the small marketing consultancy any checks. One exec spy claims Chrysler Group was shocked when it got its first bill from Arnell Group. They were happy to have the shop work on the account, but their understanding was that Omnicom would pay Arnell's bills.

George Murphy, senior VP-marketing at the client, says Omnicom CEO John Wren suggested Chrysler work with Peter Arnell, but couldn't tell the automaker the holding company was talking about buying the shop. "I'm not going to have a separate bill from Peter," Mr. Murphy explained.

"PentaMark [Chrysler's dedicated Troy, Mich., agency] is going to figure out how much they retain and how much goes to their sister companies inside Omnicom." Arnell's first gig was putting together a Dodge sponsorship of Aerosmith's current tour.

"I didn't send them a bill," says Arnell. "All the billings will go through PentaMark." Arnell says his shop is also now working on Liberty Jeep and Chrysler Minivan. "And we're getting involved in creative work," says Arnell.

Speaking of PentaMark, its PentaCom media unit was asked by DaimlerChrysler to pitch U.S. buying for Mitsubishi Motors of America, in which DaimlerChrysler has a controlling interest. The agency did, but Mitsubishi opted instead for Interpublic's Initiative Media.

Cruel and unusual

Adages talked to Cindy Gallop recently. She's the president of Bcom3 Group's Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York, the agency responsible for Lipton's Sizzle & Stir ads featuring Mr. T, Loni Anderson, George Hamilton and Mary Lou Retton as the T family, and Sally Jesse Raphael, Pat Morita, Little Richard and Chuck Woolery as The Woolery family. According to Cindy, her shop, unlike most other agencies in this recessive economy, is not laying off employees. A few weeks ago, the agency axed two creative teams. "We never lay people off," says Cindy. "If they aren't any good we just get rid of them."

Contributing: Jean Halliday and Laurel Wentz

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