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If You Can’t Join ‘Em, Lick ‘Em

Jul 28, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The cable music guerrilla war warmed up in Manhattan last week. It all started in May after Cablevision rebranded MuchMusic as Fuse and hired “All In The Family” star Sally Struthers for an irreverent marketing campaign in which she pleads, “Please help save music videos.” The ads play off her work as an advocate for the hungry. It was designed as a dig at MTV, which now airs numerous original shows, but not a lot of music videos (although they are on MTV2). To make sure Viacom’s music service got the message, Fuse put up a billboard in Times Square across from the MTV headquarters, featuring Ms. Struthers. It also gave out comp cups of coffee with the same message. MTV counter-attacked by parking an ice cream truck not far from Fuse offices near Penn Station touting a VH1 programming stunt and offering free goodies. Fuse responded by sending the studio audience for its show “IMX: The Interactive Music Exchange” out, along with staffers, to scarf up all the freebies. But VH1 said it wasn’t licked: “We had enough ice pops for all commuters who stopped by during the 90-minute stop,” a spokesman said.