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When Advertising Crosses the Line

I was reading up on blog posts on a local design firm (of which I won’t mention so they can’t find this post). There was a seminar held at ThinkTV in 2005 (I started working there in 2007 so I wasn’t on staff at the time thank goodness…or I would’ve had a vocal fit…reason following) about Guerilla Marketing. The Greater Dayton Advertising Association (formerly the Dayton Ad Club) holds seminars at ThinkTV (where I am the Art Director) very often. We donate the space to them and “local firm’s” owner religiously attends the seminars. Well this particular seminar the “local firm” decides to get creative in an unwholesome way. They write on the ThinkTV building walls and sidewalk with chalk such as “You can read a book about “Guerrilla Marketers” or you can hire one.” and “It costs big money to put your name here or here (with arrows pointing to the names of ThinkTV donors engraved in marble along the sidewalk) but chalk is cheap.”

Now the staff at ThinkTV hosed down the chalk. The “local firm” put it back up before the seminar.

Keeping that in mind…ThinkTV is donating the space. ThinkTV is the most widely used nonprofit, educational and cultural service in southwestern Ohio. Each week more than 750,000 viewers watch ThinkTV. More than 1,000 schools serving more than 400,000 students, K-12, receive our daily educational programming and services. ThinkTV is funded by a public-private partnership including government support and community-based support from individuals, foundations and corporations. More than 17,000 individuals voluntarily support our public television stations by becoming ThinkTV members each year. Their support is critical to our annual operating budget.

That said, I think the “local firm” crossed the line and it was definitely done in poor taste. What they did insulted the character of ThinkTV and the seminar attendees (and some of those represent ad agencies who are just trying to better fulfill client needs). I can’t believe “local firm” hasn’t been banned from the premises. The firm got an ADDY for their chalk graffiti but I can’t imagine it ever being a true success.