On a first-name basis with the stars

TomcruiseAdvertising has always been the less glamorous kid brother to Hollywood, but that doesn’t stop ad executives from occasionally convincing themselves that they “know” the stars. Case in point: John Villafranco, an ad lawyer at Collier Shannon Scott, who made a presentation on branded entertainment at the W Hotel on Lexington Avenue this morning, as part of Advertising Week. Talking about the appearance of Red Stripe in the movie The Firm, Villafranco briefly referred to “Tom,” as in Cruise. Then he corrected himself: “I say ‘Tom.’ I don’t really know him. I realize how ridiculous that sounded right after I said it.” He moved on to Home Depot’s appearance on The Newlyweds and began a riff about “Nick and Jessica.” Catching himself again, he deadpanned, “I think you can use their first names.”

—Posted by Jim Edwards

Photo: Mario Anzuoni/Splashnews/Newscom