Gerbers Hope Brands Belly Up

Celeb bar owners retain Alliance

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% Midnight Oil, the holding company for a bevy of national saloons run by the Gerber brothers, Scott and Rande, are poised to forge closer relationships to advertisers looking to leverage the outfit's celebrity cachet.

The Gerbers, whose bars—in most instances, called The Whiskey— are often populated by the showbiz glitterati (including Rande's wife Cindy Crawford)have retained Jarrod Moses, the chief exec of Grey Global Group's Alliance to bring potential advertiser deals to them for consideration. These could include the development of TV properties as well as branded promotional parties at their establishments. This newfound focus stems from a successful program that the Gerbers recently executed for Schieffelin & Somerset's launch of a premium vodka called Ciroc.

"We don't want to prostitute ourselves hawking other people's goods. It's important we stay true to what our business is," said Scott Gerber. "But to the extent that we can introduce something that is on our level , we're willing to look at it."

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% For Ciroc, the brothers hosted a couple of events, which included putting together a drink specialty for the vodka and "selling the hell out of it."

"The imagery and cachet and audience that The Whiskey has is coveted by many brands. And this is something that you cannot bottle or package yourself," said Moses, adding that he's targeted high-end players in categories such as automotive and apparel.

Midnight Oil currently owns and operates 19 bars in markets including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Aspen, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Boston. Most of them are located in upscale hotels that appeal to the 25-to-49-year-old demographic. The brothers have established a strong presence in Starwood's W chain of hotels.

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