As I speak with Jeff Haley, I notice that he smokes...a lot.
Jeff is the owner of No Excuses Jeans a once defunct line of jeans for which he bought the rights of the name two years ago. The line was started during the Gary Hart presidential campaign scandal. The company used Donna Rice who was caught "cavorting" with Hart to launch the line. The name implied Ms Rice didn't have to apologize or explain anything, just help sell blue jeans.
They tried to get Ms Rice back to help relaunch the brand but I am told she is currently serious about her role as an advocate against child pornography and wants nothing to do with them.
"I know the first questions your going to ask" Jeff says as he deeply inhales a cigarette. "Why didn't we get Casey Anthony? Let me tell you." he says as he moves forward to get closer to my face. "We tried and we tried but with her and her attorneys and I just couldn't get through to them. Heck I don't even know where she is right now."
He had better luck signing Bunny Mellon the 100 year old socialite who's got caught up in the John Edwards presidential campaign scandal. "That Bunny she's doing it for the right reasons. She likes to have fun and it's funny how we've come full circle with another gal who helped derail a presidential candidate selling our jeans." "Heck Bunny's even doing Playboy. I don't think Donna ever did that."
What's different this time is that each jean line will be targeted to a specific market and reflect the girl who is selling it. "Bunny's will have her own jean line called Donor C. It will be targeted to fit, fun flirtatious 100+ year old - -- make that 90+ year old women. All opening will be Velcro and easy to get on and off."
His next biggest catch is the Straus-Kahn rape accuser. Jeff knows rape can be touchy and hard to sell. "She's coming out of her shell and even went public last week. We are calling it the Chambermaid Line. They'll have lots of pockets like cargo jeans. We're getting our inspiration on fabric from Africa. Trust me she's going to be terrific when it comes to advertising."
I ask who else he is pursuing. "Well I think Casey Anthony is out. We wanted Murdoch's wife, Wendi. We had a great idea with a sort of karate type blue jean but she's not willing. I think we are going to land that School Superintendent in Atlanta that was involved in the cheating scandal but let me tell you - with her it's all about money. She needs to have fun with it and use it to launch her profile like Bunny and Donna did. I had all kinds of ideas for hidden compartments that could be used for cheating. I think she'll come around. This is something you need to have fun with."
Jeff squashes out what must be his 5th cigarette since the interview started and the phone rings. It's his dad and I can tell the topic is money and it's not a pleasant one. "Look" Jeff says "I gotta go but I'll call you when we land our new girl and get our new line going. I like your style toots." He then hurriedly runs out of the eatery where we met.
Toots? When was the last time anyone was called that. Ok Jeff I'll be waiting to see if this Jeans company makes a successful comeback based on your marketing strategy.
And if it doesn't remember this - No Excuses