UK-based Ryanair, last Friday, ran an ad that referenced the recent London bombings to promote low fares. The ad appeared in UK newspapers last week with the headline, "London Fights Back," an image of Winston Churchill and a speech bubble that contained an alteration of a famous June 1940 speech and read, " "We shall fly them to the beaches, we shall fly them to the hills, we shall fly them to London!" The Advertising Standards Authority received more than 100 complaints regarding the ad but Ryanair has refused to pull the ad.
Ryanair Head of Communication Peter Sherrard explained the move telling the Guardian, "We are trying to ensure that the terrorists don't succeed in paralyzing people with fear, which is their primary objective, and that people continue to lead their lives as normal and continue to fly."
While many might say blond hottie Gwenyth Paltrow needs no more association with the term bean pole as she, and all other Hollywood actresses, are skinny enough as it is. But, then again, when does a Hollywood starlet display rock solid common sense? While that may a bit too much over analyzation of the situation, Gwenyth has decided to become the spokesmodel for Bean Pole, a Korean fashion brand under the wing of Samsung. Bean Pole hopes Gwenyth's popularity will help make the brand a hit in the States. Recently, Paltrow also signed with Estee Lauder to face for its pleasures line.
Doing a search on Google, one might conclude the GAP should have chosen Michelle Williams, the Dawson's Creek star instead of Michelle Williams, the Destiny's Child singer for their new spokesmodel. While the GAP has acknowledged its intentions to use several celebs in succession for its ad campaigns, after just a few months of Joss Stone, one might conclude the GAP is suffering a seriously fickle case of ADD.
A Belgium ad campaign for travel site Eurostar is promoting a two-way, $69 ticket. Whether the price or the ad concept came first, you can be sure there were creatives at TBWA/Belgium and Hypervision running around the halls, shouting, "Dude, this is gonna fucking rock! Sixty nine Euros - I got the perfect concept!" The campaign consists of all sort of sexual 69 position imagery in print, outdoor and a viral site.
Lee Iacocca, who uttered Chrysler's tagline, "If you can find a better car, buy it," in 61 commercials during his reign as turnaround CEO for the troubled car company, is returning as pitchman in a set of new commercials. The deal calls for Iacocca to appear, initially, in three spots with compensation in the form of a Chrysler donation to Iacocca's diabetes research foundation along with $1 for every Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep sold for the rest of the year.
An ad for London-based Accurist watch company which ran in Glamour and showed a near naked woman reclining in a chair with her left hand in her crotch above the tagline, "Me Time," was banned by the Advertising Standard Authority which deemed it sexually suggestive and likely to cause serious or widespread offense to readers. Accurist, apparently not having seen their own ad, denies the ad has any association with masturbatory imagery. One reader who complained seems to think masturbation is somehow offensive and demeaning to women. It seems both sides are having difficulty facing reality with Accurist plainly denying a near naked woman with her hand between her legs might possibly be interpreted as sexual and the complainer refusing to admit we've progressed beyond the pre-Kinsey world where masturbation was taboo.
Of course, this doesn't mean masturbating women in ads is a good thing but let's not mince words. In the ad it looks like she is. And, there's nothing wrong with masturbation which is certainly not demeaning to women.
Accurist has a series of these ads on its website including another crotch grab ad.
Steve Rubel points to yet another not so well timed contextual ad placement. Today, London was selected to host the 2012 Olympics. In a Yahoo story announcing the news, a New York City Olympic bid ad appeared embedded within the article. Not that anyone's to blame as you can't always time your ad campaign to breaking news but it wasn't looking good for New York for quite some time.
While this one isn't as blatant, another fast food marketers seems to want people to fornicate with its products. First, McDonald's ran a banner campaign with the headline "I'd Hit it." Now, Andrew Teman points to a Wendy's ad for its Chicken Sandwich which contains the headline "Do a Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Now, we all know there's an association between food and sex but we're not quite sure fast food falls into the category of mood-altering quisine.
We've Come A Long Way
While we all might get a chuckle or two out of watching a bunch of women dressed in bridal gowns digging for cash inside a wedding cake in the middle of Times Square, female copywriter, Veronica, writing on her A Big Fat Waste of Time weblog, thinks WE's Bridezilla and its promotional campaign degrades women and portrays them as brainless gold diggers. Aside from that fact that's the point of the show and there'd be no show if the brides didn't act like that, Veronica writes, "Sure those kinds of women exist in the world. There are a lot of Black guys in jail, too, but I think we reached our quota on those kinds of movie roles a long time ago, don't you?" She hopes the whole thing wins the AWNY Grand Ugly Award.
Always pushing limits and questioning normalcy, Dov Charney's American Apparel and its advertising campaigns continue to walk the edge with strange statements like "Women initiate most domestic violence, yet out of a thousand cases of domestic violence, maybe one is involving a man. And this has made a victim culture out of women. See another ad here.