Raising the Bar

}Visa and BBDO were thrilled last week to hear that Stacy Dragila—U.S. Olympian and star of several current Visa ads—won the first-ever gold medal in the women’s pole vault. To celebrate, they sent NBC an ad congratulating Dragila that was set to air following the tape-delayed broadcast of the medal ceremony.

The network, though, fouled on its first attempt, rolling the ad out in a few local markets—including New York and San Francisco—some 10 minutes before the event itself aired. “As best as we can tell, it was just human error. Someone popped the tape in early,” says Joe Carberry, a spokesman for Visa in San Francisco. “We were disappointed, but we understand that in broadcasting an event like the Olympics, mistakes can happen.”

Jimmy Siegel, executive creative director in charge of Visa work at BBDO, hadn’t heard about the gaffe when Shoptalk called. “Oh well,” he says. “The best-laid plans of mice and men …”

Carberry says Visa is talking with NBC about a make-good. Officials at the network could not be reached for comment. DON FARRALL/PHOTO DISCIAN WALDIE/NEWSCOM