HIGHWAY ROBBERY

Good advertising ideas get swiped all the time, but usually not thisliterally.

“We want our advertising to get attention, be effective and be seen, yes. But stolen?” said David Blum, vice president of Eisner Communications in Baltimore.

Yes, stolen. Last week, representatives of Eisner were alarmed to find their outdoor display for local client Mr. Tire’s new Web site, featuring a yellow sportscar and posted along a major avenue in the Northeast section of Baltimore, was missing in action.

“It’s not that hard to take a vinyl posterpanel,” said Steve Ginsburg, a regional sales manager for Eller Media. “It’s just wrapped around the sign and attached. They unhooked it and unwrapped it. I’d never heard of anything like it before, though.”

What to do? Putting a new ad in turnaround faster than a car going the wrong way downa one-way street, copywriter Craig Styrdom and art director Greg Motylenski slapped a giant yellow note on the now blank board:

“Someone stole our billboard,” it read. “(Bet you the getaway car used our tires). Mr. Tire.”

“We thought the original was a really good ad,” said Eisner’s Abe Novick. “Maybe it was too good.”