Honored as Year's Worst Portrayal of Women in a TV Commercial

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- "Catfight," the commercial created by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather of New York for Miller Lite beer, has won the Advertising Women of New
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York's "Grand Ugly" award as the piece of TV advertising that portrayed women in the most offensive manner during the past year.

The dubious honor was bestowed as part of AWNY's annual Good, Bad & Ugly Awards ceremony last night at the Copacabana nightclub in Manhattan.

Media Markt, a German company whose print advertisement showed a women with three breasts and the tagline "There's more inside than you think," won the Grand Ugly award for print. The ad was created by agency Redblue.

GMC gets a 'Good'
Taking home a "Good" award for TV advertising was General Motors Corp. for its humorous, somewhat sassy TV spot featuring a real-life female engineer who wows some bikers with her ability to maneuver a GMC truck. The spot was the work of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe, New York.

The Good, Bad & Ugly Awards, which began in 1997 as the brain child of the organization's public relations committee, celebrate advertisers and agencies that portray women in a positive way and rebukes advertisers and their agencies creating advertising that projects offensive or insulting messages about women.

This year, seven TV spots, seven print ads and one radio ad received "Good" recognition, while six TV commercials and seven print ads were handed "Bads" during the two-hour event, which was hosted by actress Sandy Duncan. Ms. Duncan is known within the marketing community as the longtime spokeswoman for Nabisco's Wheat Thins.

"Advertising used to pay my rent, my bills, so I thank you all," said Ms. Duncan, who added that one of her sons has recently completed his first gig as an actor in a commercial.

'Bimbos and degradation'
This year's Good ads were characterized by "a real, clear sense of joy and comfort in the confidence, strength and humor of the women portrayed," said the event's co-chair, Nancy Axthelm, executive vice president for creative and director of broadcast production of Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York. On the flip side, she noted, "the Bads seem to go directly to the stereotypical default button on men's fantasies, featuring bimbos and degradation,"

Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, owned by Publicis Groupe, took the Grand Good for TV in 2002. The agency's winning work for the Girl Scouts of America, the spot "Blue Sky," features a father and his young daughter in conversation, in which the little girl demonstrates her grasp of color's derivation. Her knowledge underscores the importance of parental encouragement in pushing girls to pursue education in math and science, rather than limit their potential for jobs and high pay in the future.

Taking Grand Good for print in 2002 was the Glover Group for its "Women Change the World Every Day," campaign for clothing designer Eileen Fisher, which features real women and their many accomplishments, from dancing and composing to launching a school, practicing civil rights law, mentoring and mothering.

Other Good winners Other "Goods" in the TV category were: "Missy Elliott," for Reebok from WPP's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York; "My Way," for AXA Financial, from Interpublic's Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; "Pageant," for Oxygen, created by Interpublic's Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; "Angels" for GMC and "It's a Girl," for MassMutual Financial Group, both from Interpublic's Lowe, New York; and "Dream Anthem," for Curves, done by Publicis Groupe's Publicis Dallas and Dektor Films.

Awarded "Good" in print were: Lowe, New York, for MassMutual Financial Group; LPNY LTD, Hearst Magazines and CosmoGirl, for their campaign for CosmoGirl magazine; Cossette Post Communications, Toronto, for Phoenix Wealth Management; Laird & Partners, New York, for Gap; Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, for MasterCard; and Waylon Ad for Michelob Ultra Low Carbohydrate Beer.

AWNY judges also honored Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, for its radio piece on behalf of Olay beauty products.

Other Bads and Uglies Beer clients and their agencies, specifically Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago, and Downtown Partners, Toronto, received "Ugly" recognition for their TV spots "Twins" for Coors Light and "Worst Nightmare," for Bud Light, respectively. "Bad" recipients were Legas Delaney, Paris, for its "Working Girl" TV spot for Adia; Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, for Midas for the "Elderly Woman" TV spot; and Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, for Lynx for a TV ad called "Ideal Woman."

In print, most of the winners were created by in-house advertising departments. Video-game maker BMX came in second place to Grand Ugly winner Media Markt for its print advertisements bordering on low-grade pornography, showing women sitting with legs spread and ample cleavage. In the "Bad" category, in-house print ads made at Gucci, Michael Kors, Sirius Satellite Radio and Uniden were recognized. Tosca Extra Virgin Olive Oil print ads were also dubbed "Bad."

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