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Rotten 'Deal' for One Ad Buyer

March 26, 2007 12:00 AM

It seemed like a great plan at the time. For NBC's development presentation to advertisers last week on the Culver City, Calif., "Deal or No Deal" stage, the network brought out host Howie Mandel to play a quick version of the game with a media ad buyer. Only problem was the buyer wasn't very familiar with the rules.

With up to $5,000 at stake, when Mr. Mandel first asked her the show's title question the buyer declared "No deal" and hit her red flashing "Deal" button on the podium. Mr. Mandel handled the goof with good humor, but was a tad exasperated.

"It's the simplest show on TV!" he exclaimed. "Morons walk out of here with a ton of money!"

For the buyer's sake, the board was reset, the mistake erased, then they tried again. In rapid succession, the buyer "No dealed" her way to walking away with a mere $100.

Not wanting an ad buyer to go home disappointed, Mr. Mandel said she would still receive $2,000 as a consolation prize. The buyer thanked him, turned to exit and slipped and fell flat on the stage.