Tombstones Have Crumbled
Tombstone purveyor Curt Mohl is trying to prove that there’s life after Drexel.
The 32-year-old entrepreneur runs Tarzana-based Executive Specialties. In the ‘80s, Mohl did land-office business working with now-defunct investment banker Drexel Burnham Lambert.
His assignment: Embedding merger-deal “tombstone” ads in clear Lucite blocks, so the various corporate deal participants had a snazzy little memento for their desks.
Tombstone ads--which list who did what for (or to) whom in a deal--were a great Lucite business when Michael Milken reigned over the takeover game. And in those wild days, Mohl was busy embedding more than just paper in Lucite. To impress and amuse clients, brokers placed orders for Lucite blocks containing all manner of flotsam, Mohl says: shark’s teeth, bent spoons, even a burrito.
But now, the brokerage business is in a depression, Milken is headed for jail and the Lucite embedment market is just another casualty. Mohl is trying to get some side businesses started. He’s creating highway signs that advertise local real estate developments, for one--but he’s still hoping that demand for Lucite makes a comeback on Wall Street.
How good were the good old Lucite days? Good enough that last year Mohl was able to buy the 1986 Mercedes owned by Lowell Milken, Michael’s brother. The car came complete with a seat rip--where the gun carried by Lowell’s bodyguard jabbed the upholstery daily.
Snack With a Twist
Our nomination for the flimsiest product-promotion tie-in of 1990: Chubby Checker was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “The Twist” dance sensation at an event Sunday evening called the “Oreo Twist Finals,” sponsored by Nabisco at Hollywood’s China Club.
For those who didn’t get the connection, the Solters/Roskin/Friedman public relations firm explained: Many people “twist” their Oreo cookies apart before eating them.
As for Kosher Burritos . . .
If you are what you eat, then the people of Memphis, Tenn., are flakes. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, that is. According to market research, Memphis citizens eat more of the plain old flakes than any other U.S. city’s residents. And that sounds downright healthy compared to what other communities are known for (per capita):
* City that consumes most Hershey chocolate bars: Des Moines, Iowa. (If it has almonds, credit goes to Denver.)
* City in which Coke is IT: Rome, Ga.
* City that drinks the most brewed coffee: Pittsburgh. (Portland, Me., wins in the instant category.)
* City that consumes most Campbell’s chicken noodle soup: Cincinnati.
* Cities that down the most hot dogs (and they don’t even have professional baseball teams): Little Rock, Ark., and Memphis.
* City that consumes most prune juice (you guessed it): Miami.