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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Fluke campaign?

It's heartening to see the MBTA Carmen's Union is worried about public safety -- from bad jokes.

Of course, it would be better if they were concerned about more than the ding on their own reputations.

Not to hake this one over the coals too much, but the campaign launched for Legal Seafood to "adorn" Green Line cars, er, stinks. Hopefully Legal's products are fresher than the lines dreamed up by a New York advertising firm.

The jokes are older than Jack Benny; moldy oldies like "Hey lady, I've seen smaller noses on a swordfish," and, "This trolley gets around more than your sister."

But strangely the only one ripped from the campaign is "This conductor has a face like a halibut."

Frankly, a more creative fish-based campaign would have focused on the resemblance of Green Line cars to sardine cans.

Roger Berkowitz, who has made a fortune selling high-priced fish, thinks the campaign is hilarious.
"They're cute ads," Berkowitz said. "It's hard to conceive of anyone being insulted by them, truly insulted by them, because it's coming out of the mouth of a fish and it's really tongue-in-cheek. For anyone to take it personally, I'd have to sit there scratching my head."
What would you say if your brother Marc offered them up about you?

Then there's the question of why Legal, which prides itself on its Boston roots, went south for a campaign that might work better on the BMT (that's Brooklyn Manhattan Transit).

The ads were designed by the New York ad agency DeVito/Verdi, which vetoed one idea as too crass: "This trolley is a lot like your mother. Anyone with a couple of bucks can get a ride."

"So it's not like we're insensitive," said Ellis Verdi, president of the agency.

Bada-boom! Funniest line of the whole smelly campaign.

But I've floundered around too much. It's time to sign off on this one.

Cod speed.

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