closing time?

”’Why won’t the advertising industry support a museum for its own business?” asked Nathaniel “Than” Clevenger, a newly named board member of the American Advertising Museum in downtown Portland, Ore.

Clevenger said the 5-year-old museum, home to the Borden cow and the Mobile Oil flying horse, is in dire straits. With mounting deficits and only about 200 visitors a week, the ad museum is in danger of closing, he said.

The veteran PR man, who runs an agency called 3 The Public Communications Co., has taken up the cause on a pro bono basis in the hope of drumming up support from the ad community.

“We hear that people in advertising are too young to appreciate the past or they don’t have enough money to help,'” said Clevenger. “That’s just bull.”

The problem is mainly lack of awareness. “People don’t expect to find a mu seum on the history of advertising in Portland,” he said. “But this is the home of Wieden + Kennedy, as well as major advertisers, like Nike and Jantzen.'”

Clevenger said without immediate help, the museum could close early next year.

“We’re dying, and we need help. People should know that,'” he said.

For more information, visit the museum’s Web site at www.admuseum.org, or contact Clevenger at www.threepr.com.