Last December, Goodyear fired Leo Burnett Co. after the agency's former affiliate, Causa Publicidade, Lima, aired a racially insensitive TV commercial. The spot aired for five days in January 1997 while Good year's regional managing director was out of Peru. The spot was pulled as soon as he returned.
The spot played off a Peruvian colloquialism with three meanings--stomach, lips and tire. In the ad, a man of African descent makes a comment using the word to describe a Caucasian man's stomach while the Caucasian responds with a comment about the other man's lips. The ad was about the strength of a Goodyear tire.
The agency was fired last summer after New York's WWOR-TV ran the commercial in a special program on offensive advertising. Burnett later sold its small stake in Causa Pub licidade.
Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.