Too much awareness?

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Awareness ads from the Breast Cancer Fund have proved to be too much for the open-minded San Francisco Bay area. The three "Obsessed With Breasts" ads feature models with the superimposed chest of Fund founder Andrea Martin, who has had a double mastectomy. Martin says she expected the bus-shelter ads to draw attention but not this much. Outdoor Systems turned down the ads for about 20 sites; they went up at 18 other sites, then were taken down; and they're still up at some 16 others. The ads mimic Victoria's Secret and Calvin Klein ads and Cosmopolitan covers. All can be viewed on the Web site. Martin says the ads, created pro bono by BBDO West, SF, are a pilot project and may also run in other cities. But she admits: "If it can't play in San Francisco, we've really got some problems."

Dog tale: Opticians flayed in France

An ad featuring a dead dog has the French howling. Under threat of a boycott, the international Visual opticians network apologized for a darkly tongue-in-cheek spot in which a hunter, carrying on his shoulders what appears to be his prey, calls out for his faithful dog. The viewer then discovers the body is that of the dog, which the hunter has shot by accident. The ad ends with the signature slogan: "To choose Visual is to see reason." The spot provoked angry reactions from animal lovers and hunters alike. Visual ended up putting a disclaimer on the ad's last broadcast: "Visual would like to apologize to anyone who may be offended by this film. We remind you that our role as opticians is to make the public aware of the oftentimes dramatic consequences of bad vision." Havas-owned Enjoy Scher Lafarge, Paris, has handled Visual's ads since 1993. Other attempts at humor have included an adolescent trying to surf on an ironing board and a gun user loading suppositories rather than bullets.

Fish tale: PETA pans eCampus

Lest we shake our xenophobic heads at the French, here in the U.S. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is lashing textbook seller for a spot in which a college kid fries up his pet goldfish because he's out of food. As Morgan Leyh, coordinator of PETA's College Action Campaign, puts it: "Fish may not be cute like cats and dogs, but they can suffer just as much, and you wouldn't fry your companion dog or companion cat." But was it a real live gill-breather? "No goldfish was sauteed in the making of that commercial," eCampus SVP-Chief Mktg. Officer Philip Emmanuele says of the spot, created by DeVito/ Verdi, NY. "The plastic goldfish that starred in that commercial -- and the stand-in plastic goldfish, emphasis on plastic -- is sitting on a shelf in my office. . . . We are not going to remove our commercial."

`Harper's Bazaar' develops exhibit

Ford's Lincoln LS helps Harper's Bazaar usher in the Hearst title's redesign with a photo exhibition they're co-sponsoring this Thursday in L.A. and Feb. 17 in Chicago. The show, titled "The New Generation of American Photographers," features the work of five female photogs; some of their pictures also appear in the Feb. issue of Harper's Bazaar, the debut of its redesign.

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