The Scary Thing About Ads – part 2. UPDATED

I don’t want to write a part 3., but this is getting ridiculous, please see updates at the bottom.

Seth Godin explains  what he meant in his previous post that I cited here. 

Well, that’s not the only unfortunate ad placement – how about this, from my yahoo home page:



No, I am not blaming Yahoo for being insensitive  – this is just technology without human feelings after all.

Update (8/31).  Check out Michael’s post about juxtaposed ads.

Update 2. (8/31) Stephen Baker at Blogspotting:  Feel-good ads feel weird on hurricane coverage”

Update 3. (9/5)  Another example via Jeff Clavier:

Update 4. (9/7)  I wanted to give these guys the benefit of doubt, and considered the above ad a simple case of carelessness, but, boy, was I wrong!  This company sets a new record of intentionally tasteless, exploitative advertising.  The proof is in the date (8/2, Friday AFTER Katrina) of this job post on craigslist.  I don’t expect the link to last long, they will probably delete the ad soon, so here’s the full quote: 

New Orleans Own – Southern Comfort – Needs Models

Reply to:
Date: 2005-08-02, 12:02PM CDT

Born in New Orleans, Southern Comfort is seeking spirited girls to promote the brand around town! Must be attractive, willing to mingle, 21+, and have reliable transportation to get to promotions.

This job is all about having fun and involves no shot serving. Promotions will take place at local bars, conventions, music venues, and events such as Voodoofest.

“Southern Comfort – Born In New Orleans Where Anything Can Happen”

Job location is New Orleans, LA
Compensation: $20-$25 depending on experience / leadership

Hat tip to Jeff Clavier and I am joining him in linking to the call to boycott of  Southern Comfort’s products until they abandon this tasteless campaign.

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  1. Seth is right

    Trying to monetize blogging is a tricky issue. I know that’s what he meant, I just had to make a jest. (sorry, Seth) 😉

    It does appear odd to see Pam’s million $$ smile appearing beside Jeff, but it makes for a GREAT conversation. Perhaps disconne…

  2. Brands need to keep a handle on their advertising: the New Orleans example

    As I was using Evite today, I kept on getting these two banner ads for Southern Comfort (a peach flavored bourbon liqueur, produced in St. Louis, Missouri ). One of the tag lines of the ad is Born in New Orleans, where anything can happen. Very out of …

  3. Contextual Advertising Blunders

    Here’s another case of contextual advertising producing really, really inappropriate results: I was watching the CNN video about Iran kidnapping British Navy personnel from their boats, when the ad in the bottom slid in: “Life is better with a boat.&…


  1. […] What’s wrong with this banner?  Nothing – unless you place it in context. It appeared just days after Hurricane Katrina almost wiped out New Orleans… which gives the words “where anything can happen” a special meaning.  And if you think it was just an innocent mistake, read the details here. […]

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