DeVito/Verdi Climbs Out On A Tender Limb

DeVito/Verdi is one of the more creative agencies in the land. Therefore, I was surprised to see the following pro-bono campaign from the New York shop.
If we can put aside what we think about Bush and his war, and focus just on the ad, it’s simply not up to DeVito’s own standards. No big idea, no arresting visual, nor any thought-provoking copy. For that matter, how can any soldier in Iraq be put “at ease?” This work just does not add up.
Paul Venables, founder and co-creative director of San Francisco ad agency Venables, Bell & Partners–another creative stalwart–told his hometown newspaper, “I feel the war propaganda machine. I can see the puppet strings.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Carl LaFong says:

    I know I’m not the brightest bulb on the tree, but isn’t there a word missing from the ad’s headline? Shouldn’t there be an “a” before “commanding officer?” Or was this written by a graduate of the Tarzan School of Copywriting?
    Another question: Do commanding officers put soldiers at ease? Isn’t it really the opposite?
    Such nitpicking aside, while I don’t like either the ad or the war, I can’t side with Mr. Venables. It is entirely possible to support the troops without supporting the war.

  2. I agree with Carl.
    There should be an “a” before commanding officer.
    The writer should be shot and not with a silver bullet.
    Sorry I just don’t get it Mr Venables.
    It’s a lousy ad (though I am a huge admirer of DeVito/Verdi).
    Nothing more, nothing less.