When All Else Fails, Just Beg ‘Em To Stop

I once had a client that was busted on several news shows for bait-and-switch advertising. But it didn’t stop them and they didn’t care. In fact, they’re still doing the same advertising, years later.
Over at Tribble Ad Agency, they’re tired of the ad campaign run by LifeLock and its CEO, who has advertised his Social Security Number in an attempt to prove his company’s service works against identity theft. The trouble is, it apparently doesn’t work all that well.
Yet the ad campaign continues. Tribble wrote an open letter to the company CEO:

Dear Lifelock and Todd Davis,
The ads you are running plastering your social security number 457-55-5462 is backfiring to extreme levels. Each time you run those ads thousands upon thousands of people do a google search and read a court case filed against you for misleading advertising and how Lifelock’s service doesn’t work. To the point where the CEO’s identity was stolen.
Truly please stop this campaign. It’s not working. In fact the problem is that the chances are it’s backfiring. You can’t have a advertising campaign running when you have a pending lawsuit against you regarding the same thing you are promoting. Especially when thieves stole your social security number, changed your birthday and wrecked havoc to your own identity.
It’s millions in wasted advertising dollars. You need crisis management, not an advertising campaign.

Sometimes people protest an offensive ad. Sometimes people boycott a product. Will asking a CEO to stop running an ad campaign have any effect?
UPDATE: LifeLock responds to Tribble in the comments section.

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About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://thefutureofads.com/ Cory O’Brien

    It’s funny, I actually saw their commercial yesterday and thought the same thing: ‘Wait, didn’t that guy have his identity stolen?’
    I’m glad to see someone’s calling them out for their deceptive and stupid ad campaign. (Though unfortunately, since they’re still running it, I’m guessing it still works for bringing in new customers.)