Shop Talk

Find Your Inner Jock: Bill Bradley and Ad Team Are in the House
Bill Bradley spent most of his political career running away from his basketball-star persona. Not anymore. The surging presidential candidate recruited an all-star team of jocks and celebs, including Walt Frazier, Julius Erving, Willis Reed, John McEnroe, Harvey Keitel and Ethan Hawke, to help raise $1.5 million at his recent “Back in the Garden” event. On the sidelines were several members of Bradley’s “Crystal Group” ad team–Mike Becker, Ruth Wooden and Marvin Waldman–as well as Big Apple ad execs, like George Lois. Commenting on a New York Times story last week exploring Crystal Group member Alex Kroll’s links to tobacco, Lois says scrutiny “goes with the territory.” His advice to Kroll? “Duck!” The day’s weirdest moment came when a protester in a chicken suit interrupted Bradley. (Team Gore has accused Bradley of “chickening out” of debates with the veep.) “If [Bradley] wants a different kind of campaign, it can happen if he accepts our challenge,” says Gore spokesman Chris Lehane, riffing on Team Bradley’s TV spots that broke last week. Let the elbows fly! K
You know the digital age is here when political high jinks go high tech. Just ask Hillary Rodham Clinton’s nascent Senate campaign. For a mere $300, California stockbroker Jerry Hayden registered the domain names, www.clinton and www.hillaryclinton 2000. com sites last year.
Hayden claims he spurned a $5,000 offer for the URL’s from Clinton’s exploratory committee this year. Hillary advisors could not be reached for comment. He also says he turned down a $25,000 offer from an anonymous “group out of Washington.”
While Hayden figures his sites will become more valuable should Clinton officially declare, he may end up with zip. Hillary settled on www. as her official site this year. Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Friends of (New York Mayor Rudy) Giuliani also want a piece of the the action. The site has added a “Stop Hillary Now” section–with the First Lady’s head rising and falling above the Manhattan skyline. Giuliani supporters have posted www. (pictured). It’s starting to get ugly out there. K
Madison avenue sells out: Avrett Free Gets New Owner–in Crap Game
Wheeling and dealing took on new meaning this month at the ad industry’s third annual “Madison Avenue Sellout,” benefitting UJA-Federation’s AIDS Initiative. The evening’s guests ranged from celebs like Ivana Trump to ad execs like Richard Kirshenbaum and featured the usual round of auctions for assorted goodies.
The top seller? A weeklong vacation in Mexico that went for $7,400. An evening courtside with Spike Lee at a Knicks game sold for $3,400. Young & Rubicam’s Jim Ferguson beat out BDDO’s Bill Katz with a $500 bid for lunch with DDB’s Keith Reinhard.
Meanwhile, a high roller from Frierson Mee + Kraft may have come away with the biggest prize–an entire shop. John Frierson was rolling dice (for charity, natch) at the Avrett Free & Ginsburg booth when Avrett’s Mitch Krevat boldly raised the stakes–one more seven or 11 and the shop was his. Frierson won.
“He said tell Frank [Ginsburg] he has to be out by Friday,” says Krevat. “I said, do me a favor and make it Monday.” Frierson fired off an e-mail to Ginsburg, graciously offering to “pick up the keys in January.” Alluding to Avrett’s sale to Bozell in October ’98, Frierson adds, “Frank’s seen his share of new partners recently.” K
“I am basically a professional recruiter. It’s people, not money, that are the most valuable asset today.
Mark Kvamme, chairman of USWeb/CKS, discussing the decade at a San Francisco ad club luncheon.
Contributors: Wendy Melillo, Richard Linnett, Joan Voight, Karen Benezra
Want to talk shop? Contact Michael McCarthy by phone, (212) 536-1403; fax, (212) 382-6019; or e-mail at