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January 18, 1988

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By CBR Staff Writer

A remarkably large number of advertisements look as if the humourists in the agency put the idea up as a joke, never expecting it to get past the client, but one US agency has lost its chance of retaining US West Inc’s $10m account by making the mistake of assuming that everyone is as dumb as the breakfast food manufacturer who allows his product to be associated with football hooligans, or the airline that accepts a sign-off image that conjures up the image of an aircraft’s cabin wiring burning out: the Wall Street Journal reports that Minneapolis agency Fallon McElligott responded to a lady who complained of the negative stereotype of an ad for the Dynasty TV show that ran the words Bitch, bitch, bitch over pictures of three of the female stars of the show by sending her a letter thanking her for her deeply thoughtful and perceptive letter and enclosing photo of a naked East African boy with his mouth pressed against the rear end of a cow, suggesting that she could deal with these people in the same firm, even handed manner; not content with that, when she wrote back to ask whether the letter represented the true feelings of the agency, its co-founders responded by offering to pay her one-way fare to Africa to investigate the conditions portrayed in the photograph, and sent her a pith helmet for the safari.

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