I recently saw a TV campaign produced by Cliff Freeman & Partners for Mike's Hard Lemonade, which your publication reviewed ("Cheesy approach works for Mike's Hard Lemonade," Ad Review, AA, May 7). The campaign features working guys severing off various body parts while working.
I thought the spots were funny and ballsy as hell (although I wish they were pushed a bit with blood flying all over place like the knight in Monty Py-thon's "The Holy Grail"). I got a copy of the spots and showed them to my kids. They couldn't stop laughing. Maybe because they have a healthy sense of humor or because they're the sons of an amputee father. My wife suggested I give Cliff Freeman a call and talk him into casting me as official spokesman for the product so they could save some of the client's money on postproduction. Is that because she has a healthy sense of humor or because she's the wife of an amputee husband?
I showed it to my mother. She asked if I was offended by it, and I said no. Is that because I am a double amputee and don't carry around the emotional guilt that people with all their parts do? Or is it because I'm in the business and really appreciate it when I see agencies and clients trying to do great work?
Editor's note: Mr. Rozanski, profiled in the May 1998 issue of Advertising Age's Creativity, lost both hands in a fireworks accident at age 11.
Truth about `truth'
Since my background is in public health, not psychiatry, I cannot get into Bill Penny's mind to discover why he criticized the American Legacy Foundation ("A wasted legacy," Letters to the Editor, AA, April 30). He has reached out to us repeatedly for financial support, asking that we sponsor his race car as part of the "truth" campaign. I have met with him personally to hear his ideas. But we cannot fund every idea. Now Mr. Penny writes a letter that misstates the facts and does a grave disservice to the foundation and to all Americans who care about the issue of tobacco and its effects on all Americans.
The "truth" campaign [a national ad and education program designed to reduce youth smoking] includes in-your-face messages that were built on lessons learned in Florida, Massachusetts and California. Our research shows that messages that encourage a take-action, rebellious, independent spirit are most effective with our target audience-teens who are open to smoking. We're backing up the TV campaign with youth empowerment activities and programs in 32 states.
And Mr. Penny is wrong when he says Legacy has not invested in things that youth really care about, including musical groups. We have sponsored several music tours, including the Moby and Okayplayer tours. We're also reaching out to other audiences targeted by the tobacco industry.
Mr. Penny is also just plain wrong when he asserts that Legacy vilifies the tobacco industry. Our "Electrolarynx" ad and others accurately challenged the companies' attempts to portray themselves as having significantly changed their practices. We pointed out what they haven't changed-the production of a deadly and addictive product. Setting the record straight is not vilification, and we make no apologies. Our ad is in full compliance with the Master Settlement Agreement's charge that the Foun-dation use its funds "for public education and advertising regarding the addictiveness, health effects and social costs" of tobacco use. In addition, our Super Bowl spot did not cost 3% of our resources, as Mr. Penny states, and it was very well-received. People quit smoking in response to the ad and some actually took the time to write and, indeed, send checks in appreciation.
American Legacy Foundation
Great `Mad Ave'
I loved the "Mad Ave" cartoon in the May 14 issue ("No, he's not gay. He's in advertising."). I've got a little shop here on the Mississippi River. I try to do good work for my small client base. I win a few awards. And no, I'm not gay. I'm in advertising. Maybe it's being here in the Corn Belt. Maybe it's me being dumb enough to decorate my new office in bright pinks and blues. Or maybe it's just being a creative. But this is one of the first times in a long time that (ugh!) I admit I cut something out and stuck it on the bulletin board. Thanks to Marisa Aco-cella and Ad Age!
* In "No tears shed for the XFL" (May 21, P. 18), World Wrestling Federation Chairman Vince McMahon was misidentified as Wayne McMahon.
* In "Consumer magazine advertising linage" (May 14, P. 24), ad pages data for Power & Motoryacht were omitted. The magazine reported 752.58 pages in the first quarter of 2001 vs. 663.00 pages for first quarter 2000.
* In "Mass. anti-smoking acc't up for review" (May 7, P. 2), the Massachusetts Department of Pub-lic Health said the ad contract is valued at $8 million to $14 million annually and that the department is handling the review with assistance from Jones Lundin Beals, New York. It was incorrectly reported that Jones Lundin was handling the review.