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Not the cat's meow, say they

Chinese restaurants are steamed at Cliff Freeman. They don't like the taste of one of the agency's "Life is harsh" ads for Sauza Conmemorativo tequila. The ad in question shows an empty plate, a fortune cookie and a fortune: "That wasn't chicken." One ad appears on a bus shelter in front of a San Francisco Chinese joint.

Rosie's revenge: Kiss off Scope

Here's a really bad publicity scheme: Tie your product to a survey indicting America's sweetheart. P&G's Scope released a poll pronouncing Rosie O'Donnell the least kissable talk-show host. Rosie struck back. For two days, she kept a bottle of Warner-Lambert's Listerine on her desk during the show. W-L took out ads in the NY Times and USA Today. "Today" show host Katie Couric, the poll's most kissable host, scolded Scope for being rude to Rosie.

Why Garrity is leaving Compaq

Jim Garrity, Compaq VP-commun. for North America and incoming Assoc. of Nat'l Advertisers chair, resigned Feb. 19, the same day IBM and NEC veteran David Middleton, 41, arrived as global VP-mktg. & commun. Garrity, 50, has spent more than half his life at IBM and Compaq but now banks on a new career at First Union in Charlotte as sr. VP-mktg. commun. Garrity has been de facto worldwide ad overseer. But when Compaq created a global corporate group last fall and began bringing in outsiders, he quietly began looking. "I'm not running from anything," he says. "I am moving to something that is very appealing."

And Pecker paid, by the way

Seen dining last week at NY's Four Seasons were two execs who have sparred verbally in the press: Conde Nast prez Steve Florio and Hachette Filipacchi prez David Pecker. Florio says it was just a friendly chat. Pecker isn't commenting.

Ketchum ad biz subtracts

After Omnicom bought Ketchum a year ago, Ketchum lost its biggest ad account, Acura. Last week, Ketchum's Pittsburgh HQ lost its flagship consumer account, Heinz, ending a 50-year run. The SF office's top account, Bank of America, is in review, and one BofA insider says Ketchum has no chance. There have been wins, including $30 million in Pac Bell biz in SF last week.

Camry No. 1 . . . Prada's plans

Toyota officially is still cautious, but ad manager Mike Bevan forthrightly predicts Camry will displace Ford Taurus and Honda Accord to be this calendar year's top seller . . . IPI's Prada, the Italian handbag brand, is moving into sportswear, shoes and accessories and staging a major U.S. print campaign this spring to go head-on against Gucci. Controlling the purse strings is Kim Vernon, who left Calvin Klein in December to be VP-adv./commun. at IPI USA . . . O&M has Kodak. Last week, Adages incorrectly said Polaroid. So much for our photo finesse.

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Scott Donaton, Mark Gleason, Keith J. Kelly, Carol Krol, Laura Petrecca, Judann Pollack, Pat Sloan, Michael Wilke.

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

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