Los Angeles Times
8 June 2001
view article

'Moulin Rouge' Ad Blurb Is Called Into Question
By LORENZA MUNOZ, Times Staff Writer

In another embarrassment for Hollywood studio marketing efforts, ads for 20th Century Fox's "Moulin Rouge" attributed a positive comment about the film to the trade publication the Hollywood Reporter when the critic is actually employed by an online entertainment site.

The ad, which ran in the New York Times last week, quoted reviewer Brent Roske as saying the musical was "nothing but pure magic," and identified Roske as a reviewer for the Reporter. In fact, he works for the Hollywood Register. (The ad did not appear in the Los Angeles Times.)

Reviewer Kirk Honeycutt of the Reporter called the studio to tell them Roske did not work for the trade magazine, and the studio pulled his quote. Honeycutt, who reviewed the movie for the Reporter May 10, called the musical "disappointing."

"Yes we noticed it and we called Fox," said Lynda Miller, spokeswoman for the Reporter. "And they said it was a typo and we said OK, correct it, and they said they would."

Fox spokeswoman Florence Grace said it was a simple mistake.

"Clearly this was nothing more than a typographical error made during the layout process when the word 'Reporter' was inadvertently substituted for 'Register,' " she said. Grace said they corrected the mistake.

Although the trades' movie reviews are influential within the movie industry, it's unclear whether a general reader seeing the ad would place more credence on a blurb from the Reporter than from a little-known Web site.

Roske said that he faxed a copy of his review, clearly marked as coming from the Hollywood Register, to Fox publicity when they requested it. "Register and Reporter are ballpark but give me a break," Roske said. "I don't think anything like this really happens by mistake. That is a pretty big typo considering everything that has happened in the last week."

Newsweek magazine reported earlier this week that Sony Pictures fabricated a critic praising "A Knight's Tale" and "The Animal." The studio is conducting an internal inquiry