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The 10 Weirdest Ad Stories of the Month

You can't wear a swimsuit in Vladivostok, you can't hire a hooker and advertise Coke, and you can't suggest Jesus drinks vodka and Red Bull: Things we learned in April 2011 ...

  1. Ryanair bikini ad banned over frosty temps
    U.K. advertising watchdog nixes a campaign by notoriously cheap and cynical discount airline Ryanair because the £8 one-way fares to the sun were only available for locations where the temperature was near freezing.
  2. The many looks of American Apparel CEO Dov Charney
    His style sense runs the gamut, from disheveled to tousled; from rumpled to crumpled; from that just-got-out-of-bed look to that still-in-bed look, etc.
  3. Story behind Saatchi & Saatchi's infamous 1990 "First Over the Wall" ad in Berlin
    "You've got this advertising agency, who had bought the space from Primesight, the outdoor advertising company. It's such a brazen and audacious act; bold and cynical. It felt disrespectful to those individuals who had lost their lives so recently trying to escape from east Berlin."
  4. All 1-800 numbers now lead to phone sex lines
    Creative destruction at its finest: company buying up abandoned toll-free lines -- once the lynchpin of many an advertiser's business -- in order to put them to "productive" use.
  5. Corporate logos make Freudian slips
    Designers rejigger brand marques to reflect harsh reality.
  6. "The only thing that makes it weird is the fact that they're married."
    My favorite quote from this feature on the fortunes of the Arnell Group -- now down to just two clients -- whose CEO was replaced by his wife.
  7. Verizon's "can you hear me now?" guy is rich but his life is a nightmare
    Everywhere he goes, he gets the same thing: "A few months ago, he attended his grandmother's funeral. As her body was being lowered into the ground, he heard the hushed voice of a family friend: "'Can you hear me now?'"
  8. Christians angry over booze ad that says "thank Christ for the Easter Bank Holiday".
    Promo has the messiah advertising vodka and Red Bull for £2.50. Silly atheists, don't they remember that Jesus was a wine drinker?
  9. Coke drops Man. Utd.'s Wayne Rooney after seemingly endless list of screwups
    Infidelity with a prostitute while his wife was pregnant, urinating in the street, smoking in public, foul-mouthed ranting on TV, scoring zero goals for England at the 2010 World Cup, among his off-message crimes.
  10. That's enough Internet, thank you very much
    Fascinating -- and well written -- argument by digital adman pours some cold water on potential web ad growth, and whether the tech sector is in a bubble or not. Even if the web took every single ad dollar available, "You only get 350% more growth."
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