Jan Smith, prickly risk-taking marketing chief at the RAC, is launching another New Wheeze. Ms Smith, formerly at First Direct and Mazda, has spent the past five years pioneering off-the-wall advertising. Remember Mazda inviting viewers to set their videos for a commercial that ran into the wee small hours of the morning? Normally, Ms Smith would have selected her beloved Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury - which worked with her on First Direct and Mazda - to help her to spend the RAC's pounds 5m. Sadly, HHCL works for her arch-rival, the AA. But Ms Smith has come up with a solution: creative, planning and media specialists cherry-picked from agencies across town, forming the first "virtual agency". Hope it works better than Mazda's night-time non-event.
The witty advertising boutique Butler Lutos Sutton Wilkinson has pulled an ad for Mitsubishi because it was "alarmingly similar" to an earlier campaign for a rival Japanese car maker, Honda. Both ads highlight low petrol consumption by showing a car "chatting" to a petrol pump below the headline "Hello stranger". Collett Dickenson Pearce, which created the Honda ad last year, got on the blower to Butler Lutos after the Mitsubishi ad appeared, explaining: "We can either do this the hard way or the easy way." Butler Lutos chose the easy way, all the while stressing that the ad was a genuine mistake.
Elizabeth Taylor is to take walk-on parts in a string of US sitcoms to plug a new perfume for Elizabeth Arden. The fragmented storyline follows Taylor as she searches for a Black Pearls necklace supposedly lost when filming the perfume's debut ad. Enough product placement, certainly, to give our own Advertising Standards Authority a heart attack. But what happens over there tends to happen here soon after: eyes peeled for Liz Hurley popping up in Men Behaving Badly to flog Estee Lauder.Reuse content