EarthLink Ads Tout Privacy

While EarthLink promises not to invade the privacy of Web users, a new ad from the Internet service provider suggests it is willing to scare them.

The Atlanta-based company last week unveiled an ominous ad focusing on the issue of privacy. According to Claudia Caplan, EarthLink’s vp of brand marketing, the ad is expected to give the company an edge in a crowded market.

“This is a huge point of differentiation for us,” said Caplan, citing some competitors who “treat their users as assets to sell.” The budget for the campaign was undisclosed; the client spends $50 million annually on broadcast ads, Caplan said.

Created by TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., a 30-second TV spot titled “Privacy” features 30 actors fused together to create the image of one person getting out of bed, going to a dresser and washing up. As viewers follow these various private activities, a voiceover says, “They’re watching you. Compiling your information. Invading your privacy. Revealing your identity.” The spot then promises: “At EarthLink, we would never do that. We just deliver the totally anonymous Internet.”

The ad uses the “Get linked” tag created last year by TBWA\C\D.

The work is slated to run in 14 major U.S. markets into the next quarter, appearing during TV programs such as NYPD Blue, The West Wing, The Practice and Ally McBeal. In addition to TV work, outdoor ads will appear in April.