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PHV dodges vid flap

Paramount Home Video will give its key retailers the opportunity to buy four homevideos at the same price for which the tapes are being offered to consumers in a cross-promotion with McDonald’s.

The studio has annoyed homevid retailers in other cross-promotions by offering vidcassettes to consumers at rock-bottom prices.

In a promo that began Friday, McDonald’s customers can buy “Wayne’s World, “”The Addams Family,””Ghost” or “Charlotte’s Web” for $ 5.99 with the purchase of a large sandwich.

Previous cross-promotions have brought the studio under fire from retailers who believe the low prices drive down all prices in the homevideo marketplace.

“It makes consumers think that when retailers sell (other) homevideos for $ 24.95, they’re being taken advantage of,” said Bob Finlayson, spokesman for the Video Software Dealer Assn. “They start to think that all videos should be sold at this price, not realizing that the cross-promotional partners (such as McDonald’s) are also pitching in.”

The VSDA has sought to stop the use of low-priced tapes in promotions. The group is in litigation with Orion Home Video in an attempt to get records detailing the vidcassette promotion of “Dances With Wolves,” which was also through McDonald’s.

Sources at PHV acknowledge the unusual move is to appease retailers. The studio’s “Great Movies, Great Rebates” promotion — including both the McDonald’s and retailer drives — will run through the end of December.

But publicly, the studio says cross-promotions encourage retail traffic by reminding consumers of tapes they don’t have or about sequels to the pix being promoted. Paramount’s sequel “Addams Family Values” was released Friday and its “Wayne’s World II” is due Dec. 10.

PHV will support the promotion with rebates, tray liners and a national advertising campaign.

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