Thursday, May 14, 2009

Foundry works the pitch

Last night on the Gruen Transfer the lawyers at the ABC banned half of the pitch segment in which two ad agencies compete to attempt to sell the unsellable, in this particular challenge it was meant to be about obesity. However the Sydney based agency, The Foundry, was found to be 'racist and discriminatory', and was not allowed to air their contraversial pitch on the show.

The Foundry's pitch was deemed to infrine ABC editorial guidelines. It proposed the concept of "fat pride" by positioning that if it was offensive to make jokes about "race, homosexuality and religion" then it should not be acceptable to make jokes about "weight. Gruen Transfer presenter Wil Anderson directed people to visit a dedicated website to see the ad banned from TV.

I suggest the Foundry is doing exactly what good ad agencies do best, getting media cut through and generating a huge volume of free publicity bigger than the pitch and Gruen itself. By deliberately submitting a controversial treatment for the show it has given them a chance to stretch their credentials without having the repercussion of alienating a client. If you are the marketing team of a social cause with a small budget who are you going to call? Surely one that generates a lively discussion such as this?. The strategy is just brilliant and Aunty was simply used as part of the process to advertise the Foundry.

Some of the website comments included,

"I can definitely understand why it wasn't shown on TV. People have a right not to be confronted with offensive material - even if properly used - in their homes."

"An ad? I don't think so. It's just biased and bigoted trash,"

"I literally choked on that laugh, beer went everywhere and I had an epiphany about shape discrimination starting with laughing at a fat chick joke."

"Sure, in the abstract, 'discrimination is discrimination' but the difference in degree is so huge that the point is lost and members of the groups who have suffered real discrimination are very likely to be offended by the comparison."

At last count the comments on the site were well over the 1500 postings mark

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