Shocker: Boobs Promote Advertising Week


In an ironic twist, the industry that is currently attempting to regain cred among, well, everyone, the advertising industry recently launched an ad campaign to promote Advertising Week using the oldest trick in the book: sex. Created by DDB Worldwide, the ad, which promotes the industry's upcoming Advertising Week in September pictures a faceless woman with in a red bra and black top with her breasts bulging outward and the copy, "Advertising. We All Do It," positioned directly beneath the woman's cleavage.

Predictably, many are up in arms over the ad citing it as sexist, moronic and tired. All true but, then again, when has sex ever been in danger of not selling something. Whether it's to titalate guys or to piss of women, sex-laced campaigns featuring scantily clad women whose breasts are spilling forth, uncontrollably, from of their tops unquestionably draw attention and get the media to write about it, thereby, accomplishing a campaigns primary goal of awareness despite negative reaction.

Indicative of the spineless nature of industry, neither the client nor the agency are stepping up to the plate in reaction to this ad with both sides referring inquiries to the other as if the ad were a pair of skid-marked underwear.

Bring sanity back to the saga, Bartle Bogle Hegarty Global Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Advertising Week Cindy Gallop told Ad Age, "I see the campaign as funny and entertaining. Advertising is something we all do without thinking. The fact is a woman opening an extra button on her blouse for a date is a very regular occurrence." You go, Cindy!

by Steve Hall    Jul-25-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Campaigns, Industry Events, Opinion   

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A woman with some balls. Well done Cindy. If anything this shows the progression of woman's liberated sexual identities. Nothing to HOOT about, (pun intended).

Posted by: bucky on July 25, 2005 10:38 AM

No matter what you think of the ad I must say that the "a pair of skid-marked underwear" line made my day.

Posted by: American Copywriter on July 25, 2005 10:54 AM

The headline would also work with the Durex ad you've got posted down below.

Posted by: Sicko on July 25, 2005 11:16 AM

big change from 2004 when I was the spokesperson. ...

Posted by: charlie on July 25, 2005 12:01 PM

Best. Ad. Ever.

Posted by: The Late Russ Meyer on July 25, 2005 12:14 PM

I'm no prude and believe sex has it's place pretty much everywhere in society including in advertising (Hey, I'm a Maxim subscriber, after all!), but it is a pretty sad statement on the entire industry's ability to be creative and grab attention with a message that matters when the best idea DDB and Ad Age can muster is a close up of a woman's chest. I'm not particularly offended, just disappointed.

Posted by: Augie on July 25, 2005 12:32 PM

i'm not a fan of this particular ad, but for some reason this strikes me a case of a magazine looking to stir up a controversy versus report on one that actually exists. if "the industry" is so outraged, how come they can't find anyone from the industry to be quoted (besides the predictable response from the person who heads advertising women of new york)? just my two cents...

Posted by: A reader on July 25, 2005 12:39 PM

Gee, I wonder if Cindy will go out on a date?

Posted by: JPT on July 25, 2005 2:09 PM

1. Part of me thinks this is only here because Adrants has a minimum-boobage-per-issue quota, but;
2. Then I read the quote that says it all: "Advertising is something we all do without thinking".

Gee, wonder why it's "the industry that is currently attempting to regain cred among, well, everyone".

Posted by: Stevie on July 25, 2005 2:15 PM

what can we expect next--a demonstration of full frontal nerdity?

Posted by: cynthia on July 25, 2005 4:04 PM

Again. This ad proves all women are strippers.

Posted by: Mcthingy2 on July 25, 2005 5:32 PM

Boobs and advertising. They go together like... er... well... boobs and advertising. Maybe this is the equivalent of "going back to your roots." Or like Classic Coke? Are we trying to say, "So much for all this newfanlged, web-based, customer-focused, permission-based, one-to-one, pscyhomorphic hoo-hah... show 'em some cans!"

Sex sells. We knew that. If that's what Advertising Week and DDB are trying to remind us, they needn't have bothered. I agree with "tired" above.

Posted by: Andy on July 25, 2005 5:43 PM

Are we all forgetting that ads exist purely to communicate, inform, persuade, to sell. To do so we need to take notice in the first instance!
Sure they stand accused of stereotyping, but then, maybe we are all assuming that Cindy is indeed a she??? Now there's something to blog about....

Posted by: Franco on July 25, 2005 6:29 PM

Oh my! snore.

Posted by: KRank on July 25, 2005 11:48 PM

I too am shocked! Not so much at the less-than-great Advertising Week ad, but rather that Ad Age would so completely miss the creative concept: what seems to me as an extremely blatant, completely over-the-top mocking of the old "sex sells" advertising stereotype. Does anyone truly believe Advertising Week -- whose very existence is centered on building the industry's positive image and who is a partner with Advertising Women of New York -- and DDB, a sponsor of AWNY's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Awards," would unknowingly create such an ad? My guess is they were entirely aware that the visual is an "unbelieveable cliche," which is why they decided to mock it. Ironic that the only agency person they quote, Cindy G, is the only person who "gets it."

Posted by: Sam on July 27, 2005 4:48 PM

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Posted by: Cazador Web on July 27, 2005 11:47 PM