Commercials getting ugly
By Bill Husted
Denver Post Columnist
Feb. 21 - John Elway cut the ribbon at the new
Hyde Park Jewelry store in Cherry Creek Thursday
and told a small crowd that he was happy to
endorse a local business. But he's also pitching cars
for 17 John Elway AutoNation dealerships, about as
un-local as you can get. And some homegrown car
dealers think the ads give them a bum rap.
You've probably seen Elway's "Men In Plaid''
commercials on TV - depicting two unctuous
used-car salesmen trying to figure out how to beat
AutoNation and continue to rip off their unsatisfied
David Rothrock, president of Rocky's Auto, doesn't
think the ads are very funny.
"We feel it's not good for the industry,'' he says.
"The Men in Plaid don't have any integrity.''
Rothrock is countering the Elway ads with his own
commercial. We see a Mafia-type guy (who looks a
lot like AutoNation boss Wayne Huizenga) talking to
his mobster cronies at "Car Nation.'' Seems sales are
down in Denver.
"Who's our puppet in Denver?'' asks the boss.
"I have him on the line - here's John,'' says a
"I thought everybody loved this guy in Denver,''
moans the boss. Then into the phone, "Johnny,
you're not selling any cars in Denver. What's the
"It's about time, boss,'' says Johnny - which is the
tagline in Elway's commercials. Then, of course,
comes a plug for Rocky's.
Rothrock says he's making fun of corporate America,
not Elway or AutoNation. "Everybody has their own
interpretation,'' he says.
Yeah, right. Even Rocky's pitchman Shagman could
figure out who's kidding who.
In any case, the ads don't seem to be hurting
Rocky's. In January, the used auto emporium sold
about 20 cars a day, more than twice the number of
any other dealer in town.
AUTHOR! AUTHOR! Denver reporter Charlie Brennan
didn't get his name on the cover of Lawrence
Schiller's JonBenet book "Perfect Murder, Perfect
Town'' - but he gets to sign the book anyway at
7:30 p.m. Friday at Tattered Cover LoDo.
Friends of the reporter say he got a bum deal from
Schiller, that Brennan's name should have been on
the cover and that he should have received full
credit as the co-author. Instead, Brennan gets a
nod on the back flyleaf and a full-page
acknowledgement in the book. Not bad, but not
what Brennan expected, I hear.
In a further example of getting no respect, Brennan
was named by prisoner J.T. Colfax (the guy who lit a
fire at the Ramsey's front door) as the person who
gave Colfax a cigarette during an interview at the
Boulder Jail. And Brennan doesn't even smoke. Colfax
had bummed the smoke from a fellow prisoner, but
blamed it on Brennan so his jailmate wouldn't get in
trouble. Colfax received 23 hours in "lockdown'' for
smoking in the jailhouse.
Colfax writes me that when he told the jailkeepers
he took the cigarette from Brennan, one of the
guards said, "That figures.''
CITY SPIRIT: Playboy Playmate Extreme Team is
skiing, boarding, signing and partying all weekend at
Breckenridge ... American Diabetes Celebrity Art
Auction matches local bold names with people who
can actually paint. Look for works from actress Pam
Grier, swimmer Amy Van Dyken, dancer Cleo Parker
Robinson and Ch. 4's Larry Green at the May 8
auction ... Starting Monday at 8 p.m. and continuing
through Saturday, KBCO plays recordings of
legendary live Colorado concerts. Tune in for Sarah
McLaughlin at the Paramount, Bruce Horsby at the
Rainbow, Ziggy Marley at the Fox, Dave Mathews at
the Paramount and Stevie Ray Vaughn at Red Rocks
... Coming to Tattered Cover with their books: Jim
Fergus with paperback edition of "One Thousand
White Women,'' March 9; Maeve Binchy with "Tara
Road'' March 22 ... hey kids! Earn a "B'' average and
get 50 percent off a custom-made hat at Zap Caps
in Pavilions - one per marking period ... Ted Turner's
just warming up for his April 23 Denver appearance
at the Damon Runyon Awards Dinner. He'll be here
with wife Jane Fonda, and we wonder what she
thought when Turner told the National Family
Planning and Reproductive Health Association last
week that the 10 Commandments are "a little out of
date. If you're only going to have 10 rules, I don't
know if (prohibiting) adultery should be one of
them.'' .. Sez who: "I only ask for three things out
of life, maybe four: to be out of jail; to eat regular;
to get a little love at home; and maybe a little on
the side.'' Carl Sandburg