Arnold Says It Doesn't Castrate Men

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Responding to an article written by Glenn Sacks who claimed an Arnold-created ad for Fidelity in which a father jumps up and down with joy after beating his daughter in ping pong is insensitive to men and cause for Volvo to remove the agency as a contender in its ongoing agency review, Arnold CEO Fran Kelly responded, saying, "On the one hand I feel silly even commenting on a story like this, on the other hand, Arnold is known as an agency with strong values and relationships with our clients and important prospects like Volvo. We take our responsibility to be insightful, honest and aspirational brand communicators seriously. Our track record promoting family vacations for Royal Caribbean, driving down teen smoking rates by 22 percent with 'Truth' and raising funds to help put musical instruments in children's hands via Fidelity's Music Lives program speaks for itself."

While we've had our say on the topic of men portrayed as idiots in advertising, the trend may simply be due to the fact that, in a politically correct society such as ours, there's no one left to offend.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Trends and Culture   

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Comments



Comments

Kudos to Fran Kelly - Don't let other people determine your reputation and performance. At the very least in the age of blogging, you have the right to state your case.

It's not my line of work (I'm a PR guy), but isn't Adweek a publication for sniping amongst agencies and reporting trends?

I think Volvo will judge Arnold more on its brilliant 10-year campaign for VW rather than a broad brush stroke outside of their market.

Posted by: Adam Zand on March 1, 2007 2:03 PM

Arnold may not have castrated men in their ads yet, but they've beheaded them multiple times, literally. In one ad they serve a man's head on a dinner platter. In another they mount one on a wall, taxidermy style.

The Sacks campaign is not about an ad. It's about an undeniable systemic problem in the industry which occurs with vastly greater frequency at certain agencies. You can view a number of Arnold ads at http://www.glennsacks.com/volvo.php/. These ads illustrate the problem with the theme of their entire Fidelity campaign. I don't know about you, but when I see a man portrayed as an idiot then they tell me to use Fidelity because they're good at handling idiot's money... that doesn't really work for me. How about you?

As for the brilliance of Arnolds work for Volkswagen, I beg to differ. It failed to produce results. Marketers complain constantly about they way agencies lose sight of this little detail. If it had, Volkswagen wouldn't have dumped them, the associated layoffs at Arnold wouldn't have occurred and they wouldn't be competing for the Volvo account.

Why don't you ask Fran Kelly if the Arnold ad that flashes a brief image of a man's disembodied head on a platter speaks for itself too.

Posted by: ProFather on March 1, 2007 3:33 PM

Arnold is squirming. Men and fathers are sick and tired of being portrayed as idiots and the backlash has arrived. Arnold is expecting that the employers be contacted but it is Arnold that has produced the creative talent which of course is why they were hired. The advertising industry has some of the most creative people on earth they can do better then portraying 50% of the species as morons. I predict Volvo will deny Arnold the contract.

Posted by: solorunner on March 5, 2007 9:51 AM

Perhaps Arnold is getting his ideas from his children's view of the world around them.
Who's next in our new politically correct new world,
the very children we are trying to make into lifelong customers for our clients.

Posted by: Chris on March 5, 2007 2:06 PM

Perhaps Arnold is getting his ideas from his children's view of the world around them.
Who's next in our politically correct new world,
the very children we are trying to make into lifelong customers for our clients.

Posted by: Chris on March 5, 2007 2:07 PM

Arnold has no idea of the backlash that will hit them. Volvo sells a lot of industrial and marine Industrial equipment in the world. My company supplies the logistics for many contractors in the Gulf Cooperative Council. I have dealt with Volvo for many years and have deployed their products in my projects over many years. I have informed Volvo that I will cease to use their products and convey the same to others based on their selection of Arnold.
http://www.gcc-sg.org/index_e.html

Posted by: AMD on March 23, 2007 12:34 PM





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