Twenty-three faxed or modemed in opinions, and the response was overwhelmingly negative. Just five had something positive to say.
"Did anyone ever stop to consider the fact that the durability of the shorts is irrelevant when the person wearing them is DEAD after being eaten by a shark! Why would anyone use death as an advertisement to promote clothing?" asked Dawn M. Burris, marketing assistant-periodicals for Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington, Ind.
"You need not explain why Andromeda [the ad's creator] is now defunct-I think this ad says it all," another wrote.
Even so, the ad had its fans.
"As a surfer and an advertising person, I found the ad humorous and decidedly on target," said John Hammer, assistant account exec at Foote, Cone & Belding, Philadelphia.
"The imagery might be a bit shocking, but it speaks to a definitive target," another wrote, "and the concept is so strong it doesn't even need words."