MADNESS ON MADISON AVENUE

THE ADVERTISING GAME IS HAVING A CHAOTIC YEAR, WITH ACCOUNTS CHANGING HANDS AT A RECORD RATE. WHY? BECAUSE THE PUBLIC IS NOT PAYING ATTENTION

Many of the nation's biggest advertisers have a new slogan for their advertising agencies: Get Lost! Consider United Airlines, which dumped Leo Burnett, the giant Chicago agency that created one of the most memorable ad campaigns in aviation history, "Fly the friendly skies." Now it's bye-bye, friendliness--hello, hostility. United hired Minneapolis, Minn., maverick Fallon McElligott to handle the carrier's $60 million U.S. account. Fallon's in-your-face ads trash air travel, playing up canceled flights, lousy food and surly personnel. The punch line, "Rising," implies that compared with the rest of the airline industry, United is heading in another direction.

A lot of...

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