07 December, 2007

"Clueless" About PETA and Urination-at-law

So, I recently found myself home with my wife donating an hour and a half of our Saturday to the classic 90’s coming-of-age silver screen delight, Clueless on TBS. Guys, that movie is one of the most underhanded chick flicks of all time. As it opens, I’m thinking, “Oh dear, this is painful.” By the end, I’m like, “Just kiss her Josh! Just kiss her!” Then I’m left wondering if I’ve lost some of my inherent masculinity. Dastardly stuff indeed.

So, this got me thinking back to whatever happened with Alicia Silverstone and that PETA ad? You may or may not remember, but back in September, the State of Texas, the local cable company, PETA, and Alicia Silverstone got locked in a philosophical debate over an ad featuring Alicia Silverstone in the nude. The point of the ad is fairly harmless with Miss Silverstone like a modern day Lady Godiva, explaining that she keeps her figure slim and trim by not eating meat. The cable company pulled the spot from the Houston airwaves claiming it was “too racy.” I’ll be the first to admit, the ad is a bit racy. I mean, I eat meat, I’ve always eaten meat, and I’ll continue to eat meat, but I did have a hankering for carrot sticks before the ad was over. You do the math. My issue, however, is where do censors draw the line? This is too racy? Have they seen half the advertising that passes on normal television everyday, let alone the programming?**

So as I’m about to get up during a commercial break to refresh my adult beverage, who do mine eyes see during 30 seconds of pure gold? Barry Glazer – Baltimore Attorney At Law. (Are there other kinds of attorneys besides those “at law”?) For those of us here in the Baltimore DMA, Barry Glazer’s commercials have set a gold standard for...something...in local advertising. Picture creepy looking guy standing in front of brick wall, yelling about insurance companies in his best Bawlmer drawl. Cut to still picture of him, dazed and posing with a phone to his ear as a serious-minded voice over details who and what Barry Glazer stands for. Good stuff to be sure.

In this particular gem he waxes on about how the insurance companies are always out to get the little guy. Being comfortably lulled into a sense of glazed stupor at the lack of productions values and schlocky messaging, I could not have been more blind sided by one of the best worst lines I’ve ever heard on television. At the height of his tirade he exclaims, “Insurance companies, don’t urinate on my leg and tell me it’s raining! We’re going to court!” Wow! Then to boot, our serious minded voice over comes in redefining, the aforementioned counselor as “Barry Glazer- Legal advocate for the injured, disabled, and urinated upon.” Man, oh man! What a terrific new peak we’ve reached in low budget cable advertising.

So let me make sure I have this straight, nudity – bad; references to urination – no worries? All I have to say is, if a cable company wants to take a moral stand, that’s fine, but don’t urinate on my leg and tell me it’s raining! Local Content Censors, we’re going to court! Assuming, I don’t choke on this tasty cheeseburger, that is.

**Footnote: I’m guessing the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association must have gotten their greasy fingers involved. Keep in mind, according to the Nation Cattleman’s Association "An estimated 111,875 jobs and $4.82 billion of personal income are generated in Texas from the beef industry." Sounds like about 4.82 billion reasons for the cable company not to air the ad, no?

Ken Hall, Associate Creative Director

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19 others 'fessed up:

georgeconfused December 13, 2007 at 1:00 PM  

Why Alicia Silverstone? I mean, would you trust the opinions of an actress who's most notable films are Batman & Robin and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed? If you want to sell me on being a vegetarian, don't show me the ass of "sexy" 30-year-old, show me the ass of sexy 80-year-old. Or how about maybe a doctor or a biology professor, not a youngish Hollywood star, still riding the fame of 3 Aerosmith videos. Leave it to PETA to come up with yet another worthless idea.

georgeconfused December 13, 2007 at 1:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Make the logo bigger December 28, 2007 at 3:07 PM  

Guns don’t kill cows - hungry people do.

Drew,  January 14, 2008 at 10:19 PM  

THANK YOU for putting up this blog.

my girlfriend and i laugh hysterically every time we hear that "urination" line; it's so epic.

is it just me, or is that line a huge non-sequitor? it makes very little sense in context to what he's saying. moreover, this crusty comb-over chud is overtly ripping off judge judy's style.

M.M.McDermott January 15, 2008 at 9:49 AM  

Drew, thanks for the comment. You should see some of Glazer's other ads. He's famous for this kind of stuff. His new campaign features him vowing to make good on a personal vendetta he has with insurance companies. A little backstory: he became a lawyer because he got effed by an insurance company after getting into an accident in his youth. He closes the latest spot with, "Insurance companies! Your day will come!" Sounds like something Gargamel used to say to the Smurfs when they'd escape.

Another tidbit: Barry Glazer is the most searched keyword referrer to our blog. His ads are insane, but I guess people like the idea of having a lawyer who's just as likely to file a motion as he is to shank the bailiff with his Parker pen.

Personal Injury Houston January 8, 2010 at 4:38 AM  

I also agree that people are now killing animal for their taste. They are hungry for meat. I don't know why they can't live without meat.

Anonymous,  April 20, 2010 at 6:41 AM  

How about maybe a doctor or a biology professor?

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Jhon smith September 24, 2010 at 7:09 AM  

i laugh hysterically every time we hear that "urination" line; it's so epic.

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Houston personal injury attorney October 10, 2011 at 4:16 PM  

I also agree that people are now killing animal for their taste. They are hungry for meat. I don't know why they can't live without meat.

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