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By Published on .

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. declined last week to discuss whether it will conduct a review of its estimated $25 million ad account in Latin America and Asia, after having confirmed it fired Leo Burnett Co.'s former affiliate, Causa Publicidade, Lima.

Causa Publicidade was terminated because it aired a racially insensitive TV commercial earlier this year.

J. Walter Thompson Co., whose Detroit office handles Goodyear's $85 million U.S. account, and McCann-Erickson Worldwide, which handles Europe, are expected to make a play for the loose business.


The commercial aired five days in January while Goodyear's regional managing director was out of Peru, said Chris Aked, director of public affairs for the marketer. It was pulled as soon as he returned.

"The local [Goodyear] client made a mistake," said an executive familiar with the situation.

Mr. Aked said dealing with racial insensitivity is far more important now than a review.

The commercial, as described by executives familiar with the spot, was a "truly, truly objectionable spot" that played off a Peruvian colloquialism with three meanings -- stomach, lips and tire. In it, 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.

New York's WWOR-TV ran the spot in a special on offensive advertising last summer; after a public outcry, Goodyear apologized but didn't further censure the agency.

After WWOR reran the special last month, there was another public outcry that prompted Goodyear to fire the agency.

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