Pinch Me

High Jive brings attention to this horrid controversial call for entries from The Art Directors Club.

What’s up with the advertising business? Advertising Week and the Effies promoted events with sexist imagery. Now an allegedly prestigious organization goes for cheap racial laughs.
An industry that has traditionally excluded Blacks shamelessly bites the culture without hesitation. How typical. Or stereotypical, to be more accurate.

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. You mean HighJive’s not buying the idea that it’s a “commentary?” As the creator said:

    “…the image of the most recognized corporate spokesman in the world, tweaked superficially and stereotypically in an effort to make him seem hipper, is meant to be a commentary about the intense demands and pressures put on clients as they strive to communicate with and stay relevant to their audience — and the pitfalls of what can happen when you don’t get it right.”

    Get it? It’s not just a call for entries. It’s a commentary. Which is, you know, an anomaly of what the rest of the ad industry does.

  2. Thanks, Danny. I had not seen that bit.
    While we now have an explanation for the work, I think High Jive is correct to critique the piece on its own merits, or lack thereof. In other words, it’s cool that it’s a commentary on clients asking for the sky, but as is the case with all creative work, the creator does not get to stand there and explain. It explains itself or it fails.

  3. Mr. G told me he was being facetious. Man, you gotta watch that one.

  4. Is there an emoticon for “this is just a smartass remark”? ‘Cause I could really use one.

  5. Wow. Thanks for tracking down that explanation. Checked out Anomaly’s website — very talented folks doing very cool stuff.
    But the ADC work still sucks on too many levels.
    It’s interesting to note the agency’s website features a quote from Larry Light of McDonald’s. No way would Light be happy to see the McPimp picture. Anomaly and others might argue that the work is edgy. But why go to this particular edge? Why show racial insensitivity when they’re clearly talented enough to create infinite other breakthrough executions? Plus, playing off Pimp My Ride is really tired. Although maybe not for White folks in the advertising business.