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Nissan copywriter didn’t mean to be sexist (follow-up)

Here’s a follow-up to a recent post about sexist commercials on Pandora. The copywriter of the controversial Nissan ad explains how the script came together, and says she didn’t mean to be sexist.

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To recap: Last month I noticed some ads on Pandora that were targeted at men, and sounded crass. One of them was a Nissan Juke ad that included the line, “You can be as promiscuous with the ladies as you are with your music.”

Here’s the audio:

I thought this ad was sexist and confusing, and I wrote, “Fire your copywriter!”

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The ad was the work of two copywriters at TBWAChiatDay Los Angeles. One is Lauren Smith, who co-authors a really swell blog called Lali Adverts. The other copywriter, per Lauren’s blog, is Nick Ciffone.

Lauren and Nick: I don’t like your ad, but I’m sorry I wrote that you should be fired.

Nissan and TBWA management: Please don’t fire these writers over a Pandora ad.

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Lauren address the ad, and the controversy around it, in a blog post titled, “lali lessons in advertising #7: don’t be sexist and have a tough skin.” She finds a few other examples of people who were offended by the ad, including someone (not me!) who wrote on Twitter, “Nissan you need to fire and beat your ad agency.”

Lauren writes on her blog:

“Well, let me just say I feel a little bad about being sexist. I promise I didn’t mean it. And while we offend people all the time with the work we do, this isn’t the way I’d like to offend. It just goes to show that no project is too small (it was just a little mobile radio ad! on pandora only! to boys only!), and what we write/art direct/create really is out there in the world for people to see, feel and react to.”

Go read the full post; it’s very good. You’ll learn a few things about how ads come together, and get some insight into how advertising works.

I wish more copywriters kept blogs like Lauren’s, sharing the behind-the-scenes stories of what it’s like to work in this crazy business.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Advertising, Copywriting, Marketing, Television

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