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FOOTNOTES /JAMES BATES

Direct to Video Star

November 06, 1995|JAMES BATES

It's being touted as "an instant video hit," a "perennial holiday classic" and a "must-buy for the holiday season."

Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life"? Maybe Bing Crosby in "White Christmas"?

Actually, it's "A Celebration of Christmas with Pope John Paul II," a collection of footage of the Pope combined with Christmas songs.

One of the distributors, Los Angeles-based Hemdale Home Video, is even touting the video as just the answer to Hollywood critics who have questioned the entertainment industry's moral values, among them Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.).

"At a time when the entertainment industry has come under scrutiny for the distribution of product with questionable moral values, it is truly noteworthy" that the video is being released, Hemdale Home Video Chief Executive Eric Parkinson said in announcing the project.

This Fight Was No Sweat

Gillette struck out in its efforts to raise a stink about a rival's deodorant claims.

The company, which makes the Dry Idea brand, complained to the Council of Better Business Bureaus national ad division about Procter & Gamble's claims that its Sure and Secret Ultra Dry antiperspirants "keep you drier."

According to a council report, Gillette argued that its tests showed that its deodorant "achieved a 64% sweat reduction" compared to a "57% sweat reduction" for Sure Ultra Dry and a 63% reduction for Secret Ultra Dry.

Procter & Gamble defended its tests, arguing among other things that Gillette's tests were conducted 90 minutes after the deodorant was applied and "does not account for factors like product rub-off."

In the end, the council found that Procter & Gamble adequately substantiated its claims.

Euphemistically Speaking

Time Warner has been criticized for writing a batch of expensive severance checks to jettisoned executives--or facing that prospect due to pending lawsuits filed to other former top managers. All told, the entertainment giant could pay out more than $100 million.

Executive pay consultant Graef S. Crystal, a frequent critic of Time Warner's executive pay practices, sarcastically concludes in a recent newsletter that one can only assume that all of the people being paid off are "severely performance- challenged executives."

Briefly. . .

Were the drinks shaken, not stirred?: A Los Angeles autograph company is selling beverage receipts signed by former James Bond star Sean Connery at the Bel-Air Country Club for $95 each. . . . Added incentive: An Elvis Presley credit card announced last week by a Memphis bank gets holders a 10% discount when used to buy merchandise at Graceland. . . . An index of costs in popular retirement cities compiled by Smart Money magazine shows the average price of a face lift in Santa Barbara is $5,250, compared to $4,194 in Boca Raton, Fla., and $5,000 in Las Vegas. . . . The same index shows a tube of Retin-A cream is $32.47 in Santa Barbara, compared to only $26 in Boca Raton.

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