So there you are, a Playboy Bunny in London in the heyday of the
swinging '60s, making the scene with Austin Powers and assorted future
rock gods. It's a short lifespan, that of a real bunny, and soon you're
shown the door and sent out into the real world. Now what? Back then, an
ex-Bunny's career didn't automatically segue into
"actress-newsreader-whatever," the way it seems to today. It only segued
to the "whatever" option. The most viable in that broad category usually
involved finding a worthwhile cause to lend your post-Bunny support.
Sandy Zuckerman, now a resident of Hollywood-fashionable Boise, ID, did
just that, and has subsequently devoted tireless efforts to righting an
inexplicable wrong - one that is especially pertinent this time of
Indeed, it's only pertinent at this time of year. Almost as soon as the
Thanksgiving turkey, or what's left of it, is cleared from the table,
Zuckerman renews her PR crusade to bring an end to a senseless animal
injustice - one you pay silent witness to every time you watch Rudolph
the Red-Nosed Reindeer without protest, and lend credence to when
reading assorted holiday tales to innocent children.
"On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen." How exhilarating, this
famous call to action from Santa. How terribly wrong, says Zuckerman.
She insists it's Donder, not Donner, citing as reference Clement Moore's
original A Visit from Saint Nicholas. So don't you forget it. Because
each time you do, the dedicated efforts of a former Playboy Bunny melt
like Frosty in the hothouse. Not to mention Donder's chance to collect
some back-due residual payments.
Speaking of the holidays, I spoke to a couple of retail PR folks this
week to see if Christmas promotions had been altered by recent
In true holiday spirit, they all say seasonal activities are proceeding
per usual. (Take that, Mr. Grinch). In fact, since September 11, many
department stores have expanded their PR, according to Rina Neiman, a
Macy's PR spokeswoman. Macy's hosted a swanky cocktail party in Beverly
Hills last week and has held several celebrity promotional appearances
at its West Coast stores.
"When the economy is slow, we lean even more heavily on PR and
promotions," says Neiman. "We've recently held special events with the
Dutchess of York, among others, and have increased our in-store
Like many other retailers, Macy's is tying into the surge of patriotism
with stars and stripes merchandising. Small "Americana" shops in its
West Coast stores offer everything from socks and T-shirts to flag pins
and quilts, with proceeds of varying amounts going to relief charities.
Best of all, Santa will be on duty as per usual, which means all the
good little boys and girls can give the big guy their wish list. The
line starts right behind me.