Writing in Australia’s Herald Sun, Bolt notes that the photo below is a screen capture of a flier promoting a tradeshow last year put on in Cannes by ACT-Responsible — the ACT stands for “Advertising Community Together.” Not at all surprisingly, Kofi Annan was announced as attending, meaning that presumably he was OK with this image:
A PDF file of that flyer is still online here; you might want to download a copy yourself as we did, in case it disappears itself in the not too distant future, as the 10:10 clip started to do after those of us who aren’t Green Supremacists longing for the eco-Anschluss discovered it.
Responding to the above flyer, Ed Morrissey adds:
I’d say that ACT-R is creatively challenged, all right. Bolt also objects to a video embedded on his site that exploits a child’s supposed nightmare (while hugging a polar-bear doll, natch), but that one is more stupid than offensive. It argues that we should allow governments to impose Draconian policies because a child has a nightmare, and ends with several children saying “Save the world!” into a camera. It’s a good way to avoid acknowledging that the AGW hysterics still haven’t built a single successful predictive model proving their assertions about future weather systems, still haven’t addressed the serious data gaps in their studies, still have Rajendra Pachauri at the head of the IPCC despite the serial scandals regarding their academic standards of inclusion in the report, and in general having offered little but apocalyptic posturing. Putting a noose around a little girl on an ice cube is all they really have.
Bolt describes Act as “a group of Left-wing advertising executives (!)” and the exclamation mark was in his original post. But after ads such as these and these and these and these, and from what I know of the industry, I’m not at all surprised that the days of Don Draper and Bert Cooper are long, long ago, and that these days, many in the industry are much more likely to be reading The Assault on Reason than Atlas Shrugged.
But as James Lileks writes at Ricochet, linking to the unintentionally hilarious Australian PSA making the rounds of a mother in a dark, dingy room strapping a rubber tube around her son’s arm before they heat up some…hamburger (no really):
[PSAs] were always stiff or dull or painful, like they’d brought over the creative team from East Germany. (“We’re the team who came up with the slogan, “The wall looks the same on the other side, so why bother?’) It was a mystery: ad people can make you want to buy Corn-flavored Ice Cream if they try hard, but give them a Big Issue and they act like someone who couldn’t sell a pail of water to someone whose pants were on fire.
One reason why might be found in the pages of a marvelous book written around 1970 by veteran advertising man Jerry Della Femina, with the classic title of From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor. The book reads like an extended episode of Mad Men, and it’s no wonder; Della Femina is an advisor to the show. But at one point, Della Femina writes that a lot of ad men think that because their ads are appearing in magazines like Time and Newsweek (remember, this was back when people actually bought Time and Newsweek — and in dead-tree form, to boot), they’re on the same level as those journalists as writers. But ad writers often forget that people view their work as a distraction — they want to read the news, they have to get past the ads to get to it. In contrast, nobody’s looking forward to the latest ad promoting Seagram VO. Perhaps having been given the chance to sell something that isn’t whiskey or Diet Coke, ad men compensate badly for whatever loathing they have for their day jobs, and thus really let it all hang out for the world to see.
(Until the world sees the results of their efforts, reacts in appropriate horror, and the ads are pulled, only to be rediscovered, collated, and preserved a little while longer by enterprising bloggers.)
Oh, and speaking of Green Supremacists and Assaults on Reason, as the Washington Post wryly notes, “Osama bin Laden embraces his inner Al Gore.”
Can’t say I’m at all surprised, myself. But then, as Mackubin Thomas Owens wrote in September of 2002, “9/11 revealed an emerging geopolitical reality: that the world’s most important fault line is not between the rich and the poor, but between those who accept modernity and those who reject it.”
Update: More from Mark Hemingway in the Washington Examiner, responding to a Tweet highlighting the above ad from actor Adam Baldwin (whom I interviewed earlier this year for PJM Political). Mark writes that the Treehugger blog dubbed the above lynching imagery some of the “Coolest Environmental Advertising;” click over for screen shot:
Incredibly, Baldwin points out that the website Treehugger, where this is included in a feature on “Coolest Environmental Advertising,” is owned by Discovery Communications, parent company of the Discovery Channel. That’s the very same place that a crazed environmentalist with a radical population control agenda recently took hostages before being shot by the police.
As Mark writes, “Why do environmentalists keep depicting child murder?”
Update: At the Blaze, Jonathon M. Seidl attempts to ascertain the lynching ad’s origins:
The picture does not include any immediate, decipherable clues as to who is responsible for the picture. The only reference to its origin is an illegible “concept by” line near the side (and at the bottom of some versions):
[Click over for close-up]
Further digging on ACT’s website shows that the letters following the “concept by” section may belong to a company called Ayrine. A quick Google search and a few minutes on that company’s website reveals a section called “solutions” that features A.C.T and the same picture featured above:
Solutions? That has a rather final-sounding ring, doesn’t it?
Update: From Zombietime, it’s the Week in Eugenics.