Clear Channel approves the copy, we have a contract, the boards go up on two major roads leading into Manhattan, people frustrated with their current marketing love them and they write and call and ask to meet and talk. Every day. In big numbers.
And then last Wednesday a call comes through from a guy pretending to be a potential client. When we talk, he says he is a senior executive with Net Jets, a holding of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. He is irate! His 6 year old daughter saw the board and the word “sucks” is going to poison his daughter. He needs to call in an exorcist. Bottom line: he demands I take the board down or I “will feel the full wrath of the Berkshire Hathaway empire.” I told him to get a life and the call is over. Case closed. Or so I thought.
Yesterday, two days after the call, I passed the board with a colleague in my firm, Linda Parry. To our shock, our sign had been covered over and the board was black. When Linda called the Clear Channel rep who sold MSCO the space. He advised that someone in the Mayor’s Office in the town of New Rochelle had a complaint or complaints about the board, called Clear Channel, and without a single word with me, ripped the damn thing down. Censorship hits New York? Singapore on the Hudson? The new Beijing? What the hell?
Another Clear Channel board still carries the www.YourMarketingSucks.com message and the company sold MSCO a third for February. So why go to dark on one? Is this the one a Berkshire minion saw and decided to use the company’s clout to destroy? I have no proof, but I have radar and this smells bad! A corporate giant flicks its pinky ring and the first amendment is tossed in the gutter?
Not so fast. This one’s just starting. Stay tuned.
Your turn to sound off!
What do you think about this?
Has anything like this ever happened to you?
What would you do if you were in my shoes?
What would you do if you were in Clear Channel’s shoes?