'Don't Die, Lindsay!'

A New Low in Advertising?

By Published on .

Please, people. Stop sending me this ad and the accompanying press release. I've seen it already. I've seen them both in my inbox. I've seen the ad in the New York Post, directly across from Cindy Adams' column. (Too bad no one figured out a way to get it IN Page Six, next to the item about Lindsay Lohan once stealing a bag of coke.)

Supposedly, the ad, created by New York-based Jugular, "will invite serious debate about dealing with alcohol and drug addictions." I predict it will also invite ridicule and scorn.

For those who can't read the type, the body copy reads: "While the rest of the world is going in and out of rehab, Canterbury Institute is changing the rules of addiction treatment. We're offering innovative medical approaches to drug and alcohol addiction. It's outpatient and administered by as ASAM-certified physician. All you need is 3-5 days to get back on track."

I think Lindsay, Britney Spears and others have proven they need much, much more than three to five days to get back on track. Also, there's nothing in the ad about spa treatments.

And yet ... While my first impulse is to shake my head, I think Jugular Co-Founder and Creative Director Jeff Griffith gets near to the truth. In the press release, he says, "This category is incredibly difficult. You can't approach addicts with the 'Imagine your life clean' approach. That doesn't work." If he'd stopped right there, he'd be 100% correct. Unfortunately, he continues, "The only thing they fear is death -- physical death, death of their job or death of their family. These ads talk to that."

Which is directly contradicted by the cutting, the drinking and driving, the ingestion of dangerous amounts of drugs and alcohol and Britney's recent performance. But I think there might be promise in the last line -- maybe kidnapping and threatening family members might be the ultimate solution.
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