Hey, Middle Schoolers, Rum And Tattoos Are Cool

This out-of-home shelter ad for Sailor Jerry rum is located right outside a Portland middle school, which might be illegal and it’s clearly ill advised. Someone at TriMet likely messed up, although the media buyer at Quaker City Mercantile may need to accept some responsibility, as well.
To show you what the school has to offer in return, I present you this portico just feet from the transit shelter:
In case, you can’t quite make that out, it says, “Knowledge, in truth, is the great sun in the firmament. Life and power are scattered with all its beams.” So, we have a 19th century American statesman and his cosmology versus the romance of sailing, drinking and the possibility of a girl in every port.
I feel like some kind of moralist as I stitch this post together, but my motivation isn’t to undue a wrong, or to protect pre-teens from the more worldly ways of the world. I’m more interested in how a good piece of advertising from a seemingly decent company can so easily get mixed up in something like this.
Ads make an impact on the community. Purveyors of ads and providers of ad placements, therefore, need to work overtime to comprehend these impacts, plan for them and make an effort to mitigate any potential for damage, to the community and to the client’s brand.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.