U.S. Business: Irreverence at American

"Hey, hey. I just saw that secret new sports car American Motors built." With that, a sharply pointed pole sails out of nowhere, embedding itself in the speaker's chest. Sinking to the ground, he gasps: "It's called the Javelin."

Using 20-second television teasers to pique interest in its brand-new Javelin specialty car, American Motors Corp. last week launched a nationwide advertising campaign designed to put the company on the road to recovery. To plug its 1968 models, the automaker is relying on 18-month-old Wells, Rich, Greene, Inc., which was already Madison Avenue's hottest...