September 25, 2005
Truth in advertising
It seemed like a good idea at the time: a light-hearted advertising campaign to persuade Romanians to adopt a stray dog, using pictures of three well-known ‘historical figures’ with their pets.
Posters across the capital showed Adolf Hitler, Nicolae Ceausescu — Romania’s former dictator — and George W Bush, over the slogan: ‘A dog loves you just the way you are.’
But the American Embassy did not find the association of Mr Bush with two hated dictators so amusing and, hours after The Sunday Telegraph sought advertising agency McCann Ericsson’s reaction to the campaign, company workers had ripped the posters down.
… The Romanian National Committee for the Protection of Animals had at first said that its campaign would show that ‘even the most hated dictators on this planet received love from their dogs’. Yesterday, the advertising agency denied that Mr Bush and his Scottish terrier, Barney, had ever been depicted on posters for the campaign.
Full deniability: now there’s something the Bush administration can relate to.
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