First, Proctor & Gamble had its problems with Marilyn Chambers--discovering years ago that their Ivory Snow girl had become a major porn star (they subsequently pulled her girl-next-door image off their soap boxes). Now P&G; International’s Crush soft drink division is sponsoring a basketball video for kids--several Lakers appear in it--that is exec-produced by one-time porn producer/distributor Noel Bloom.
“This could be a big image problem for us,” said a surprised P&G; rep, when apprised of the naked truth. “All our research department told us was that Bloom had made family fare. Obviously, we need to look into our deals more carefully. Nobody in this company needs or wants any association with the X-rated industry.”
Bloom’s company, Caballero, handled the Swedish Erotica series and popular X-rated titles such as “I Like to Watch.”
The new video is “Fast Break: The Fundamentals of Championship Basketball” (release date: Oct. 18), featuring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, James Worthy, Mychal Thompson, departing Laker Kurt Rambis, trainer Gary Vitti and assistant coach Bill Bertka.
Bloom wouldn’t chat with us. But “Fast Break” producer Don Spielvogel pointed out that his boss had formed Family Home Ent. and released successful videos of children’s TV fare like “The Care Bears” and “Pound Puppies” when he still owned Caballero.
“The man obviously knows the video business,” said Spielvogel, who added, “No one from P&G; questions his integrity. That (X-rated involvement) was years ago. It’s not an issue now, nor is ‘Fast Break’ an adult project or a Lakers team project.”
Another P&G; rep told us, “The deal’s done . . . it’s a great video. It’s tough to draw a parallel with the Marilyn Chambers matter, because that happened in the ‘60s.
“Sometimes we like to be squeaky clean, but we may have blown it here image-wise.”