Off Madison Ave Supports Clean Slate

LOS ANGELES A new ad effort by independent Off Madison Ave relies on the “simplest form of political activism”—a bumper sticker—to inform voters about the Citizens Clean Elections Campaign, according to the agency.

The campaign, which includes a television spot, print ads and direct mail, is meant to display how a $5 Clean Elections donation is “actually an easy and inexpensive way to show support,” said Roger Hurni, creative director and partner at the Tempe, Ariz., shop.

Providing an alternative to special interest group-financed election campaigns, the CCEC is a voluntary, nonpartisan fundraising option for candidates running for statewide and legislative offices. While voters may support multiple Clean Elections-enrolled candidates, the candidates may accept only one $5 dollar donation from each voter.

Off Madison Ave’s 30-second, computer-animated spot begins with a voiceover asking, “Is this your idea of political involvement?” All the while, patriotic bumper stickers fly through the air and plaster themselves to the back of an SUV.

The voiceover goes on to explain, “in Arizona, there’s a better way”: $5 Clean Elections donations, which “help level the playing field for about the cost of a bumper sticker.”

For the campaign, Hurni worked with an Off Madison Ave creative team composed of copywriter Jenny Stotts and art directors Shelly Moss and Julie Ott. Their last names, as well as the names of other agency staffers, were used on the spot’s bumper stickers.

In addition to TV and print executions—both scheduled to run regionally through November 2006⤔the CCEC campaign features an “aggressive PR effort,” Hurni said. “And we have actually done some bumper stickers.”

The Clean Elections Act, passed by Arizona voters in 1998, has since been adopted in states including California, New Jersey, Maine, Missouri and North Carolina. Other states “are exploring the idea,” Hurni said. According to the Arizona Clean Elections Commission, 88 Arizona candidates (56 percent) were CCEC participators in 2004.

A campaign spend was not available.