Devito Verdi’s Class Clown

In these tough times, ad folks will seemingly do almost anything to secure their jobs.

Take Chris Turner, for example. A hardworking art director at DeVito Verdi in New York, Turner put on lipstick, blush and eyeliner, held a hula hoop and wore a clown costume—all in the line of duty. He wasn’t playing court jester for the enjoyment of some twisted boss. Rather, he was being a good team player, dressing up for an appearance in a Sporting News ad.

The ad, which graced Adweek’s back cover recently, opens with the line, “We’re not sure what the hell is going on here.” Well, Turner fills us in: “The lights were hot, and I was on one leg for six hours. It was extremely uncomfortable, and I was sweating.”

Turner struggled to look fetching, but admits his smile was forced as the skate started to feel heavy and the hula hoop ever more cumbersome.

Barbara Eibel, the art director on the campaign, said the agency needed a model on short notice and opted for Turner because of “timing, and he was willing.”

The ad is part of a campaign that promises coverage of only “real sports”—a category that evidently does not include pajama-clad clowns on skates.

Though he wasn’t paid for his labors, Turner can call the session a success. At press time, he was still employed.