Grey’s Ruff Cut

The sight of a sobbing Carmela Soprano had the folks at Grey dancing with joy last week.

During the Sopranos episode that debuted May 13 on HBO, a mysterious ailment turns Carmela (Edie Falco) into an emotional basket case who’s moved to tears by a number of things—including a treacly sweet dog-food commercial created by Grey’s Los Angeles office for longtime client Pedigree.

The ad, celebrating the kinship between people and their dogs, was handpicked by the show’s producers and shown almost in its entirety.

Grey was grateful for the flattery, even coming from a mob boss’ wife. “You can’t pay for that kind of placement—and we didn’t have to,” beams agency president John Crosson. “The production company contacted the people at [Pedigree parent] Mars and asked if they could use the spot in the episode. There was no money involved. I think it sends the message that we are doing great work for the client. This may actually be the first commercial ever shown on HBO.”

How happy was the client? “Generally, they won’t let us talk to the trade press. But this time they didn’t mind,” Crosson said.