If you could sponsor a TV series that was a cross between "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "Gilligan's Island," would you hesitate atoll? Eight sponsors apparently didn't -- they've signed integrated ad packages for "Survivor," a joint effort of CBS and Mark Burnett, creator of Discovery Channel's "Eco Challenge." Sixteen challengers are now on a tropical island off the coast of Borneo, with only food, water and the Reebok clothes on their backs. The islanders will occasionally vote to cast out one of their cohorts; the last survivalist left snares a million bucks. CBS will broadcast 13 episodes of "Survivor" this summer. Reebok is official footwear and apparel supplier. The other sponsors are Pontiac Aztek, U.S. Army, Schering-Plough's Dr. Scholl's, Target, Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light and Ericsson, and BBDO split a sponsorship between Visa and Frito-Lay's Doritos. All get ad time on the shows, as well as signage at related events. But no signs on the island.
BK's misstep is a Whopper
Lest we shake our fingers at the ad antics of foreign fast-feeders (Adages, March 13), Adages notes Burger King was in trouble with the Islamic community (again) last week. The flap reveals the potential problem of trying to reach one minority group, and inadvertently offending another, overlapping group. The Council on American-Islamic Relations complained a radio spot for the Bacon-Cheddar Whopper was offensive to Muslims. Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, New York, created the commercial, in which a person named Rasheed reads a poem about the virtues of the sandwich. BK was aiming the spot at African-Americans, but Muslims saw the character as one of their own -- a problem since Islam forbids its followers to eat pork products. BK pulled the spot and said it would rewrite it, including renaming the character. Last summer, 10 Arab-American groups called for a worldwide boycott of BK after it opened a restaurant in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
CEO is not O-U-T at P&G
Rumors circulating among agencies and employees of Procter & Gamble about an emergency board meeting had some wondering if recent troubles would cost Chairman-CEO Durk Jager his job. Turns out the board did meet, but in a regularly scheduled session, and nobody is pulling the rip cord on a golden parachute just yet. The rumor did prompt one bit of apparently unfounded black humor, which goes: The good news for Jager is the board granted his wish of eliminating the company's promote-from-within policy. The bad news is they started an outside search for a CEO.
FDA heartless about Viagra ad
Viagra's Valentine's Day spot (AA, Jan. 31) didn't last much longer than a dozen roses. The FDA ordered the ad from NY shop Cline, Davis & Mann yanked, alleging it was overly suggestive about the pill's ability to improve one's love life. A Pfizer spokeswoman says the company felt the ad was "appropriate"; it showed a couple dancing to romantic music. Adages surmises the feds prefer erectile dysfunction poster pol Bob Dole.
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