Does Ad With Fake 911 Call Offend?
The campaign uses a new tagline, "Fashion without the victim," offering consumers brand name clothes at reasonable prices.
One of the TV ads in the campaign, created by DeVito/Verdi, has been banned in numerous markets for its strong resemblance to an actual 911 tape.
The ad, seen here, begins with a woman calling 911, to report being robbed. The woman describes the robber as a man wearing a suit, telling the dispatcher, "He took my money and all I got was this dress."
The operator figures out the woman overpaid and asks, "Well, what do you want us to do about it," and the ad ends with K&G's logo and URL.
Another TV ad is less controversial, showing a woman wondering out loud if she should buy the dress she tried on. A resounding yes is given by the handful of men in the waiting room, who beat her boyfriend to the answer. Watch the ad here.
TV stations in Philadelphia, Chicago, Baton Rouge, Seattle and Birmingham rejected the 911 ad. Within the first five seconds, it's pretty clear that the ad is a fake 911 call. I watched it a handful of times and failed to find it offensive. I would certainly steer clear of running the ad during newscasts, however.
Many will describe the ad in poor taste, but it's memorable; does poor taste trump brand recall?
DeVito/Verdi is no stranger to banned ads; last year two trolley ads it created for Legal Sea Foods were considered offensive to conductors and subsequently removed. Read last year's column here to see the offending ads and what Legal Sea Foods did following the ad ban.