For Comcast Cable,a storm of ordersLast week's blizzard...

CONSUMER MARKETPLACE

March 20, 1993|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,Staff Writer

For Comcast Cable,a storm of orders

Last week's blizzard may have crimped retailers' sales, but there was one consumer business that has every reason to sing "Let It Snow."

Camcast Cable of Baltimore County shattered its previous weekend record for pay-per-view movie orders, says spokesman David Nevins. From last Friday night through Sunday, the cable channel took 10,000 movie orders, compared with a previous high of 6,000.

Tops at the box office: "Single White Female," "Death Becomes Her," "Mo' Money" and "Caged Fear." The No. 5 selection was "Playboy at Night," which set its own new high for viewership.

"Mark your calendars for nine months from last Saturday night and the hospitals will have to staff up a little," Mr. Nevins said.

Towson Town nears 95 percent occupancy

The renovated and expanded Towson Town Center is more than 90 percent filled and will be closing in on 95 percent after a few scheduled openings, general manager Christopher Schardt says.

On Thursday, Towson Town will fill a gap right outside the fourth-floor enterance to Nordstrom with Crate and Barrel, a fast-growing chain of kitchenware and home accessories stores based in Northbrook, Ill.

At 11,700 square feet, the visually striking Crate & Barrel store will be one of the largest specialty stores in the mall -- and one of the few to have skylights. The store will be the first in the Baltimore area and second in Maryland for Crate & Barrel, which also has a store at Montgomery Mall.

Also coming up at Towson Town are the openings of Laura Ashley and Liz Claiborne's First Issue in May or early June, Mr. Schardt said. Soupmasters will fill the last slot at the food court at the end of April.

Towson Town also is venturing into the production of its own commercials. Diane Lewis, the mall's marketing director, says the center will launch a radio ad campaign including humorous snippets of conversation with Mr. Schardt and 100 to 125 merchants.

Children to tell Old Joe to say no to smokes

Old Joe Camel, the dromedary delinquent who pushes cigarettes for RJR Nabisco, is about to acquire a few thousand pen pals.

The American Medical Association and the U.S. Surgeon General's office are sponsoring a nationwide contest in which schoolchildren will draw posters or write letters, essays or poems telling Old Joe why he should stop smoking.

Anti-smoking groups have assailed RJR for its use of the "cool" cartoon character in its ads, contending that Old Joe's appeal is

directed primarily at teen-agers and younger children. RJR denies it.

Winners will be chosen in three categories: kindergarten through second grade; grades three through five, and grades six through eight. Winners will receive a $200 savings bond and a trip for two to Washington to meet the surgeon general. The winners' schools will each receive a $5,000 grant.

Entries should be sent to Say No Old Joe, c/o Books and Beyond, 309 North Rios Ave., Solana Beach, Calif. 92075. One tip, kids: Saying that smoking makes your breath smell like a camel's is probably not the most effective tactic.

Overlea to pitch eats to Bowie Baysox fans

Overlea Concessionaires, a veteran in the food service league, has signed a one-year contract with The Maryland Baseball Limited Partnership to pitch food and drinks to fans attending Bowie Baysox games at Memorial Stadium this season.

The Baysox, a Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, are expected to play this season at the 33rd Street ballpark before setting up shop in a new stadium in Bowie for the 1994 season.

The concessionaire, a division of Baltimore's Overlea Caterers, said it will operate 20 food stands and employ 150 to 200 people per game. Overlea also will offer custom catering for private parties and groups at the games.

Overlea is no stranger to Memorial Stadium. Last August it provided the concessions for a National Football League preseason exhibition game that drew a sellout crowd.

Cornerstone lands promotion of COWS

Cornerstone, a Baltimore advertising agency, has landed a new piece of business: promoting COWS.

The agency recently won a contract from Sherwood Brands Inc. to do the advertising and public relations work for the rollout of the Rockville-based company's newest product, a butter toffee candy called COWS.

COWS will be distributed nationwide in three varieties: a hard candy, a chewable toffee candy and a chewable candy with milk chocolate filling.

For '93's newborns, an invitation to circus

When the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus puts on a promotion, it doesn't clown around.

Ringling Bros., marking 200 years of the circus business in America, is offering a free ticket, with no expiration date, to any child born in 1993. Parents can receive a certificate entitling their newborn child to a future ticket by sending name, address, child's name and date of birth to the circus company at P.O. Box 5265, Clifton, N.J. 07015.

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