An Offer Mindvolt Couldn’t Refuse

You know the economy has cooled when a participant in the witness protection program hires an agency to drum up business.

Henry Hill, the Brooklyn mobster turned FBI informant whose story became the basis of Martin Scorsese’s film GoodFellas, has retained Mindvolt of Athens, Ala., to promote his Web site (www.goodfellahenry.com).

“We told him we’d execute some ads, but that was it,” said Mindvolt copywriter Dave Smith.

Mindvolt, co-founded by Chad Bottcher and Sloane McWhorter, is producing a series of print ads that will appear in men’s magazines later this summer. Hill communicates with the agency via phone calls patched through by his business manager, Bryon Schreckengost.

“It’s really clandestine,” said Smith. “We don’t have his phone number.”

Copy in one ad states: “Normally to obtain this type of information one would need to be wearing a wire.”

The Web site, supervised by Schreckengost in Miami, sells an array of posters, film scripts, videotapes, photographs and other wiseguy memorabilia.

“We’re the guys he selected to build his brand,” said Smith. “Henry is still in hiding, so he also liked the fact we’re in the middle of nowhere.”

The six-man shop, all hard-core fans of gangster flicks, agreed to produce a first round of ads gratis, an offer no client could refuse.

“We know Henry, with some of the deals he’s got going, will outgrow us,” said Smith. “We just want a little piece of the action.”