Shop Talk

Furnished Villa, $22 Mil.
Mary Wells’ Mustique Mansion on the Block?
Looking for a little getaway good enough for any self respecting ad person? Like maybe a sun-drenched South-of-France Palladian villa by the sea, complete with box hedges, changing flower beds and saltwater pool?
Liz Taylor and Richard Burton once slummed it in these digs. Or how about a 17-acre estate in the exclusive West Indies island of Mustique which boasts 34,000 square feet and eight buildings, including fountain courtyards, a dining pavilion and tennis court? Well, look no further. Advertising’s most famous woman, Mary Wells Lawrence, now known mostly as Mary Lawrence, could be listening to offers–through Sotheby’s–for some of her opulent retreats, sources say. Lawrence could not be reached for comment, but her hilltop Caribbean villa on Mustique is surrounded by neighbors like Mick Jagger, Tommy Hilfiger and Edgar Bronfman Jr., and across from the home recently sold by David Bowie. Mustique is the rich enclave where, a year ago, Princess Margaret suffered a stroke at a dinner party. The meal in question was attended by Mary Wells’ husband, Harding Lawrence, according to recent reports in London. The asking price for the Mustique villa? It’s a steal at roughly $22 million–furnished, say sources.

Neighborhood Watchdog
Tom Adams, a copywriter at Crispin Porter & Bogusky, may want to add the title “crime buster” to his resume. Recently, a TV crew from an Australian newsmagazine was in Miami to file a report on the agency’s anti-tobacco work. En route to a meeting with the Aussies, Adams spotted a man rifling though a purse in the building’s parking lot. When Adams also saw a sport-utility vehicle with a broken window, he ducked into his office and called the police–then left for his appointment. Within the hour, officers found the suspect; minutes later, Adams was crossing the street in front of the hotel to positively identify a man in custody as the same person he saw in the park-and-lock. When apprehended, the suspect was carrying a metallic logo, torn from the purse, in his pocket. The police told Adams the man he helped nab was “a career criminal”–which makes it unlikely the two will meet again.
Given Adams’ new career as a crime buster, however, one never knows.

Polaroid’s Double Exposure
If you are one of the eagle-eyed viewers who thought you saw a new themeline from Polaroid, well, you did.
Seems the instant-photo giant recently ran a bunch of work with the fresh theme, “Right now,” developed by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
However, the client yanked the new line in only 48 hours, retagging the work with its current “See What Develops” theme. Why? Insiders say Polaroid backtracked after realizing that BBDO used the “Right now” theme to push Crystal Pepsi a few years ago (using Van Halen’s hit song of that title). The new tag even ran on high-profile programming like the NCAA tournament.
A Polaroid representative explained that the change was made because the “See what develops” line was “well-liked.” Of course.
Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble executive Paul Alexander, who was expected to take the post of global ad manager at Polaroid, has elected to stay put in Cincinnati, says Polaroid. Its search for a new ad chieftain goes on.

Melissa Visits GSD&M
Count GSD&M among the list of companies victimized by cyberscourge “Melissa.” The Austin, Texas, shop unwittingly passed along the computer virus to some of its clients–complete with an X-rated attachment.
“We had some clients who were getting a list of pornographic web sites from us and wondering why,” says the agency’s Eric Webber.
The cyberwitch hit the shop at a furious pace. It spread within an hour, after someone opened an apparent mystery message.
Though the agency was forced to shut down for an afternoon, damage was not permanent. “Our [information systems] guys spent the whole weekend scrubbing and cleaning the system,” reports operations director Duff Stewart.

I think ad agencies are essential to producing good commercials.
But I also think that ad agencies are self important, fixated on the wrong things and overrated.
— Former Coca-Cola marketing chief Sergio Zyman, from his forthcoming book, The End of Marketing as We Know It.