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Truth in adv. is in the jeans

In FCB's spot late last year for Levi's Wide Leg jeans, boy meets girl in elevator. The spot then flashes to a fantasy scene where they marry, have a kid and live happily ever after. Reality bites when the doors open and the twosome go their separate ways, wondering what could have been. But there is truth in advertising: Alex DeBoe and Tracy Zahoryin, who portrayed the couple in the ad, met on the set. They've been dating ever since. They're serious. We're serious. Beams casting director and matchmaker Lisa Fields: "They had never met until we put them in an elevator and told them to fall in love. That's exactly what happened."

Rick is not the retiring sort

More truth in advertising: In a Leo Burnett '96 spot for Hallmark, a company's top exec at the last minute decides to postpone indefinitely his retirement. Which rather sounds like the story of former Burnett CEO Rick Fizdale, who last month postponed his retirement. In un-Hallmark fashion, of course, Fizdale also repossessed the CEO title from Bill Lynch.

Regal choice for People's Republic

Wouldn't you really rather drive a . . . GM? Wags recall that GM boss Jack Smith said in 1995 he wanted cars from a joint venture in China to be branded "GM." GM's North American execs wanted either Cadillac or Chevy. But China wanted Buick. So Buick it is. A GM spokesman now claims GM always planned the China car to be a Buick. Well, at least since Oct. '95, says another GM PR man.

Deutsch is GLAAD, TBWA is mad

Deutsch/NY picked up the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Outstanding Advertising award for a lesbian ad for Mistic Beverages. In the award show program, TBWA Chiat/Day took out its own ad: "We are proud to support the Goy & Thespian Alliance Against Defamation . . . Actors and non-Jews are important parts of the fabric of this country, and to hell with those who would rather act as if they didn't exist. Mazel tov and bravo."

Benetton shorts story

Benetton stores in Vilnius, Lithuania, decided to offer a free pair of jeans. The gimmick: You gotta show up in underwear. "We are expecting a huge crowd to turn out, more to watch than to undress, and we are expecting to give away hundreds of pairs of free jeans," a spokesman says.

Sun . . . WebTV

Sun Microsystems finalist TBWA Chiat/Day set up a mobile board in the guise of a virtual office, staffed by a real employee 24 hours a day, in front of Sun's HQ. Agency creative god Lee Clow says Sun CEO and prank-ster Scott McNealy liked the stunt. . . . Philips' first WebTV model, launched with fanfare last fall at $325, has been marked down to $200 at Web retailer Rival Thomson will launch the first Network Computer device for TV Web access at a NY news conference June 17.

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Jean Halliday, Laura Petrecca, Ira Teinowitz and Michael Wilke.

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (213) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (213) 655-8157;

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