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Eviscerated over e-mail

The danger of fingers that move faster than your brain is now painfully clear to a Coca-Cola account director in the Singapore office of Leo Burnett Co. The adperson wrote to his Burnett colleagues in an e-mail that "the clients [i.e. Coke] are already difficult enough and at least the compensation [of TV bonus spots] will hopefully take the sting out of their traditional bitchiness." Problem is he accidentally cc'ed the e-mail to his contact at Coke. Oops! The Coke person forwarded it to her boss, who responded (and cc'ed John Borzi, Burnett managing director in Singapore) with an e-mail that advised, in part: "Media is all about directing the right message to the right people -- when trashing your clients, never use a medium (i.e. e-mail) that can get back to them. When trashing your clients . . . you probably shouldn't copy them. If nothing else, it shows that you really don't know the difference between the `forward' command and the `reply' command. When trashing your clients, you probably don't want to publicly insult the new boss client, with whom you now have no relationship or equity. Chances are you're not going to have any credibility with him for a long, long, LONG time. When trashing your clients, you really don't want to piss them off when you're pitching their business . . ." Burnett in Singapore is currently competing with McCann-Erickson for more Coke ad work.

Coca-Cola finds a great grandma

Talk about your midlife (and that's putting it optimistically) career change. Coca-Cola Co.'s new TV spot set at a family reunion of five generations (AA, Aug. 14) features the acting debut of 101-year-old Anna Boetger, a resident of Omaha, where NY agency Cliff Freeman & Partners filmed the commercial. One of Anna's relatives is a commercial actor who decided to audition as an extra. When the relative's agent mentioned the producers were having trouble casting the great-grandmother -- needing a lady between the ages of 90 and 100 -- the relative thought Anna would be perfect. Anna at first demurred, saying she was too old and, besides, she needed a permanent. But the relative convinced Anna that the producers would stretch the age range. In fact, the script was even tweaked for her. When great-granny learns there's no Coke at the reunion, she yells, "What?! I'm 101 years old, and this will probably be the last time we get together. We're supposed to have a Coca-Cola!"

All-American 'boy. . . Should sub it

Playboy Enterprises Exec VP Richard Rosenzweig, responding to the brouhaha over whether U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D., Calif.) should use the Playboy mansion for a fund-raiser, said Playboy magazine hadn't seen anything like it in years. "We are as mainstream, as American as apple pie," Rosenzweig assured, adding he hoped the flap would fuel a reputation that the magazine is a hot book. The company could use a little heat. Earlier this month, Playboy Enterprises reported a second-quarter net loss of $5.9 million. . . . BAD TIMING DEPT.: A hot TV show titled "Survivor." A beer commercial in which sailors escape a destroyed submarine. Unfortunately running the same week the world is riveted on the drama of 100+ Russians trapped, and very possibly dead, on a sunken nuclear sub. Happened last Wednesday, courtesy of CBS, Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser and DDB Worldwide, Chicago.M

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

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