Hey, aspiring models: Do you know where your image is? Last month, a New York mother was appalled to see an anti-abortion billboard in SoHo featuring the face of her six-year-old daughter, whom she had taken to a photo shoot a couple of years ago without realizing the resulting pictures could be used anywhere. Now, this week brings news of a New York firefighter whose image was used in a law firm ad that implied he had suffered as a result of being a first responder on 9/11, even though he wasn't there. An account director at the agency responsible for the ad dismissed the complaint, telling the NY Daily News, "He really signed his rights away." And ad folk wonder why they have a bad reputation?
Of course, there are still a few places that aspiring models might want to be seen: like, say, the new travel ads for Egypt and Tunisia. Last month, Egypt unveiled a campaign at a travel trade show in Berlin that played up its recent revolt. Slogans include "Tahrir - a square rocks the world," "7,000 years of history and a new era," and "Welcome to the country of peaceful revolution." Tunisia, too, is appealing to the international market by emphasizing the country's new dawn, with slogans such as, "Finally free to tan." (Which is much better than the old "Free to get shot on sight.") There's no word yet on whether a certain neighbouring dictator is waiting for a good Priceline special before considering travel.
Which makes us wonder: Maybe Moammar Gadhafi could pursue a post-despot career as a model for stock photography? (Guy's gotta do something, right? He can't just sit around the Hague all day.) But if he does, we figure that, with his ego, he wouldn't be too keen on having his image used in an online campaign. After all, even though use of the Internet by U.S. adults continues to climb, eMarketer reported this week that ad dollars aren't following suit: While TV watching took up 42.9 per cent of time spent with media in 2010, and ad dollars hit 42.7 per cent, the Internet accounted for 25.2 per cent of time spent but pulled in only 18.7 per cent of ad spending. Of course, by the time he leaves Libya, Gadhafi may just want to sit in a cell and watch Fantasy Island.
If that's a reference that comes out of left field, it's not as random as a tweet that came over our transom the other day from AdBuzz (sorry, we mean @ad_buzz) which read: "Once Gadhafi's gone, it's time to move on ACTRA." It linked to an opinion piece by Andy Shortt, a creative director and partner at the Toronto agency Huxley Quayle von Bismark. In short, Mr. Shortt believes that the Canadian actors' union is an oppressive regime whose allegedly pricey demands are forcing advertisers to shoot their campaigns in cheaper places like Chile. For the record, we believe this is the first time we've ever heard a creative director complain about having to travel to Chile to shoot a commercial.