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Keeping it relative

Contest #468: Behind every super celebrity are the proud and beaming parents.

And often times, those proud and beaming parents make better advertising spokesmen than their super-celebrity progeny.

Take pro athletes. MCI enlisted Wayne Gretzky's parents, Shaquille O'Neal's father, and, yes, O.J. Simpson's mother for TV spots. Now Reebok is rounding up the mothers of its star endorsers for a series of ads called, appropriately enough, "Moms."

T.N.T.ers: your assignment is to come up with the next ad campaign to use a celebrity's parents as spokespeople.

Hoop dream redux -why Mike came back

And now for the results of Contest #464: we asked you for the next Michael Jordan conspiracy theory-the real reason behind his return to basketball.

Here's why....

First Prize: The Clinton administration convinced Michael that it was his patriotic duty to leave basketball for baseball. See, the way Robert Reich figured it, if kids went nuts for $80 Air Jordans, think of the economic impact if kids went crazy for Jordan-endorsed baseball equipment, which is more expensive. What he didn't factor in was that Jordan would suck at baseball. Now Clinton and Reich have implemented the backup plan, "Shaquille O'Neal as Redskin Tight End Project." Jack Huber, proofreader, Kingswood Advertising, Ardmore, Pa.

Second Prize: Apparently, the CIA-planted microchip in Michael's head short-circuited, causing him to confuse baseball for basketball. Fortunately for basketball fans (and Jordan sponsors), Intel Corp. picked up on its error and was able to install a replacement. Bruce Ellerstein, account exec, Sierra: The Magazine of the Sierra Club, New York.

Third Prize: "That's Hoffa!" Phil Frankenfeld, free-lance writer in Milwaukee.

Advertising Age, 6500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2300, Los Angeles, Calif. 90048, or fax them to (213) 655-8157. Please include, legibly, your name, title, company, address and daytime phone number on the sheet with your entry. Users of the online Prodigy service can file T.N.T. entries to Ad Age through the Prodigy Bulletin Board. Top three winners win T.N.T.-shirts. Entries become property of Ad Age and cannot be returned.

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