Round-up of the week’s odd marketing stories

  • Anti-Religion ad banned: Last month the South African Advertising Standards Authority banned an ad from a church for claiming miracles, this month UK’s ASA banned posters from the British Humanist Association asking people to check the “No Religion” box on census forms. The reason? They had the “potential to cause widespread and serious offence.”
  • 575-pound spokesman for Heart Attack Grill dies: ‘Heart Attack Grill is an unabashedly unhealthy restaurant – the menu consists of huge burgers, milkshakes and fries cooked in lard – and having such a big man as a spokesman was part of its tongue in cheek “glorification of obesity.”’
  • LA Clippers celebrate Black History month after Black History month ends: Not surprising really. As AdFreak points out “given [team owner Donald] Sterling’s standing as a poster boy for racial intolerance and bigotry, I’m amazed he missed it by only two days. By all accounts, this meathead is about as racially progressive as Archie Bunker. This is a guy who paid $2.73 million in 2009 to settle a federal lawsuit that claimed he discriminated against blacks and Hispanics when renting apartments in L.A.”
  • Del Monte unveils individually plastic wrapped …bananas. In case that wasn’t silly enough, the company claims the biodegradable wrappers are part of a “green initiative.”
  • Aussie schools sell booze for fundraising:  “The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) has written to every school principal in the country asking them to reconsider the sale, use and promotion of alcohol products when raising money. In the open letter, chairman Dr John Herron said there were concerns students were being used as "couriers" between school and home for advertising material, forms and payments for alcohol as part of fundraising activities.”
  • Car dealer allegedly apologizes for ad that insults all non-Christians

    Here’s the actual text of the radio spot for Kieffe and Sons Ford of Kern County, California.

    Did you know that there are people in this country who want prayer out of schools, “Under God” out of the Pledge, and “In God We Trust” to be taken off our money?

    But did you know that 86 percent of Americans say they believe in God? Now, since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians who believe in God, we at Kieffe and Sons Ford wonder why we don’t just tell the other 14 percent to sit down and shut up.

    I guess maybe I just offended 14 percent of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case, then I say that’s tough; this is America, folks — it’s called free speech. And none of us at Kieffe and Sons Ford are afraid to speak up. Kieffe and Sons Ford on Sierra Highway in Mojave and Rosamond: if we don’t see you today, by the grace of God, we’ll be here tomorrow.

    OK, so now we know he’s bigoted, a bad businessman and can’t do research. Apparently every American who believes in God is a Christian. Good, pardon the phrase, Lord.

    The apology is every bit as stupid as the ad.

    “It’s just something that went by us,” said Rick Kieffe, who does not attend church but considers himself “a Christian spirit.” “We’re obviously sorry that it offends a given segment who identifies themselves as atheist.”

    Oh, Rick, if you’d only insulted the atheists you’d be far better off. I am sure all the churches in Kern County are grateful that Rick doesn’t actually attend any of them — although he might want to start.

    However this does give me enough of a thematic link to mention my latest post at The Ministry of Culture which explains why Julie Andrews + John Coltrane = God.