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Businessweek Archives

Tonya Wasn't The Only One Crying


Up Front: MAD AVE.

TONYA WASN'T THE ONLY ONE CRYING

Who knew? The 1994 Winter Olympics turned out to be one of the most-watched events ever. And that left some high-profile advertisers out in the cold. Coca-Cola, Chrysler, and Reebok filled the airwaves. But archrivals Nike, PepsiCo, General Motors, and others were conspicuously absent.

Why didn't they land that triple lutz? Pepsi, says spokeswoman Amy Sherwood, prefers to blitz the Superbowl. "It certainly was an unusual year, wasn't it?" she says. And why was GM a no-show, when Chrysler and Ford advertised? "We certainly had the opportunity and decided to put our advertising efforts in other places. I don't know of any regrets," says spokesman John Maciarz.

Portland-based Nike paid hometown skater Tonya Harding $25,000 for legal fees but opted not to compete. Nike plans ad schedules far in advance, says advertising director Scott Bedbury, and uncertain ratings are a fact of life in TV sports. Besides, he adds, these Olympic ratings were a fluke. $by

EDITED BY WILLIAM D. MARBACH AND JULIE TILSNER


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