In another development, Young & Rubicam, the giant New York advertising agency, said it has terminated its agreement to handle Waldheim.
"Since 1971, Y&R has had a policy of not taking political accounts," company spokesman Mark Strook said today. "This happens to be one of the reasons we don't take them."
-- The Associated Press, April 4
YOU ARE a high-priced image-maker and it's not going well for you at all. Your "You've Got a Friend in Angola" pitch fizzled out and the "South Korea -- The New Riveria" media blitz is conflicting with your fund-raiser for the arts -- "Hands across Georgetown."
Then, when the media heard about the silver B1 bomber earrings you sent to the Cabinet wives, that didn't brighten your week anymore than the wife of the Canadian ambassador, who decked you with a karate chop because you begged out of her dinner party and sent George Bush in your place.
"I need a change," you say to yourself. And there on your desk you spot the unopened letter. It is postmarked Vienna. Minutes later, after reading the letter -- a plea for your services -- you decide to handle the Kurt Waldheim campaign for president of Austria. After all, your colleagues don't call you "The Miracle Worker" for nothing.
It won't be easy; you know that. If it was easy, all those clowns you've handled over the years would have only needed a few balloons and maybe a photograph with Charlton Heston to win an election.
Kurt Waldheim. Can he win? Can he convince the voters that he really is a nice guy even though each day brings new charges that during World War II he might hasve been a skinny Hermann Goering? How do you plan the campaign of a man who is being accused not only of having a Nazi war record, but of having been Secretary-General of the United Nations? What do you do -- put the charges on the table and let the voters choose?
You decide on a long-shot strategy. You will attempt to get the message across that being suspected of having played a part in the worst offense against humanity in the history of the world doesn't necessarily hamper a man's ability to govern. Not having the candidate hide from the charges, you decide on a campaign slogan -- "Why Not the Beast?"
Unfortunately, Kurt hangs up on you when you suggest this to him and his choice native-tongue expletives are still ringing in your ears. You quickly think of another alternative -- a nice, soft TV commercial of a kind so successful in America, complete with sunset, green grass waving in the breeze, chirping seagulls and a dog -- winner of every award bestowed by the Political Action Committee Academy of Arts and Sciences.
You will film it on an alpine mountain top (yes, with seagulls -- this is television). You dress Kurt in a Tyrollean suit like the one worn by Julie Andrews' husband in "The Sound of Music." Naturally, you try to get Miss Andrews herself. But she will decline and threaten legal action. So you settle for the Vienna Boys Choir, which you dub in later, having told its director it was a commercial for Swiss chocolate.
The camera comes in on Kurt as he sits on a rock, takes off his feathered hat and says, "First of all, let me say I am not a Nazi. The media is out to get me. Here, let me show you something. See this snapshot? It is a picture of me picking wild flowers on my grandmother's farm in 1945 when I was 6."
Kurt stands up, pets the dog a couple of times and starts to walk. "As we say in politics, let's look at the record. On second thought, let's look at the future. I want to be your president." He raises his voice and says, "I will be your president." Now, Kurt's face is becoming redder and redder, his veins are standing out as he shouts, "'As your presidnet I will lead Austria to its gloriest destiny! TODAY, AUSTRIA! TOMORROW, THE -- whoops, 'scuse me."
The candidate now walks down the mountain as the sun dips behind it and we hear the recorded voice of Julie Andrews -- "the hills are