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Batman faces the Joker in what's being called "The Showdown at Charlotte" at Nascar's Oct. 4 race. Graphics of the winged one grace driver Dale Jarrett's Ford Taurus in a deal between Warner Bros./DC Comics and Ford Motor Co. Kenny Irwin will drive Texaco/Havoline's Joker Taurus. As if we had to ask, there's assorted co-branded merchandise, via Action Performance Cos.

And now a word from our sponsor

Ads before movies are annoying. How about ads before movie promos? Kellogg, Heineken, Microsoft, Nestle, Sprint and TL Partnership are among sponsors of the L.A. Office Roadshow, a first-of-its-kind shindig where Hollywood studios will pitch their '99 movies to agencies seeking to score promo partnerships for clients. Previewing properties: Columbia, DreamWorks, Fox, Miramax, New Line, PolyGram and Universal. Post-lunch entertainment, supplied by sponsor Screenvision, will be a reel of the awarding-winning spots from Cannes. Hollywood entertainment marketing agency L.A. Office created the Roadshow, hitting NY, Chicago and LA in October.

A consultancy by any other name

When Lee Anne Morgan and Arthur Anderson decided to split consultancy Morgan, Anderson & Co. into two pieces, Anderson says he "for 5 micro-seconds" mulled naming his part of the business "Arthur Anderson Consulting." A good way, for sure, to annoy accountants Arthur Andersen and management consultants Andersen Consulting, themselves in the throes of contentious divorce. His lawyer immediately deep-sixed that business name, and Arthur settled on Morgan Anderson Consulting, a management consultancy that will focus on compensation issues. "Anderson is my name," he says. "It's not as if my name is Joe Blow." Andersen Consulting had no comment.

How to keep from going postal

In case you missed Computerworld's story last week on violence in the computer workplace, Adages here excerpts key tips worth mulling in adland: "Don't hire the misfits." "Don't keep the misfits." (That pretty much cleans out the agency business.) "Extend courtesy. Treat employees as you would treat customers." (Treat employees as if they are really stupid and naive.) "Watch for the little things. You'd be amazed how a dirty bathroom can cause someone to blow." (Flush.)

Headache . . . toothache

Jeep's ad from Bozell/Southfield says it makes sense to buy a Jeep rather than the generic equivalent -- unlike "aspirin, toothpaste, sandwich bags," since "when you're at the local supermarket, it might not matter whether or not you buy name-brand or generic items." Tell that to Bozell/NY client Excedrin. . . . Martha Stewart Living long ago split from Time Warner. So when we called information to get the number for Martha's mag, how come we got Time's number? . . . Micron's Mike Rosenfelt is skittish about visiting his orthodontist and dentist, Alexander Dell. "I have a cleaning coming up, and I'm a little nervous going in these days," he says. It seems that Alexander's son, Michael, runs a rival computer company.

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Jean Halliday and Jeff Jensen.

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (323) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (323) 655-8157; or e-mail, [email protected]

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