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FedEx bump in the yellow brick road

Super Bowl viewers may have liked it, Bob Garfield 31/2-starred it, but the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition is trying to deflate FedEx's new "Wizard of Oz" spot created by BBDO Worldwide, New York (AA, Jan. 31). The group, which battles the teen practice of "huffing" inhalants to get high, was appalled when a gruff-speaking munchkin sucked helium to change his voice to a more elfinly pleasing tone. And the NIPC isn't just blowing hot air-it has enlisted the help of the National PTA (also not amused) and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (lots of angry phone calls, they say). FedEx spokeswoman Carla Boyd says: `We talked to three to four national health and toxicology authorities just to make sure there were no health threats depicted. . . .we made every effort to make sure the ad was appropriate for our viewers."

SBC ya 'round to Goodby?

San Francisco's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners might have visions of ringing up more of the SBC telco empire but could instead find itself disconnected. Goodby has been running a versatile $75 million campaign, tagged "The phone is once again your friend," for SBC's Pacific Bell, and has had hopes of picking up an equal amount of billings from newly acquired Ameritech (handled by Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, Chicago), and maybe even the $57 million local account of Southwestern Bell (now at GSD&M, Austin, Texas). But the buzz in the SF ad community is SBC, infamous for inspiring fear among its own staff and agencies, is looking to consolidate everything at GSD&M, recent winner over Goodby for the new $15 million SBC Telecom account (AA, Jan. 17).

C. Saatchi to wield a scary Hammer

British studio Hammer Film Productions, which churned out horror flicks in the '50s and '60s (who could forget classics like "The Plague of the Zombies"?), is coming under the aegis of Charles Saatchi. Saatchi is part of a private consortium of media and entertainment entrepreneurs that has acquired the studio. Between 1953 and '83, Hammer generated more than 250 film and TV productions. It hasn't been making movies for years, but now will be recapitalized and plans to dust off the cameras. Larry Chrisfield, Hammer's new chairman and chairman of the British Film Commission, says: "Hammer is the strongest name in horror." The backers say they intend to build Hammer into the "leading horror brand in all media, including Internet distribution and e-commerce." No word on whether "all media" will include advertising-Adages may stock up on garlic in case creepy Christopher Lee turns up as an ad pitchvampire.

Networks reveal ad sweet tooth

Sweet Logo, which specializes in putting ads on mint wrappers (see Adages item on Time Out New York's new dining guide, Dec. 6), has scored a network triple play by signing CBS. The Ridgefield, N.J., company has already done work for ABC and NBC. For CBS, the 8-month-old specialist in "complimentary confection advertising" is placing mints in more than 400 beauty salons and spas in New York and Los Angeles to support the new series "Grapevine," premiering later this month. The color of the wrappers: a grapey purple.

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

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