A Phrase That Heals All Wounds

No one in advertising can doubt the power of juvenile humor. Now, Marvin Waldman wants to put it to good use. The former executive creative director at Young & Rubicam in New York, who left in 1999 to focus on social-marketing projects, has come up with a bumper sticker and Web site introducing a phrase he says can bring Democrats and Republicans together: “Cheney is a Dick.”

Cheney is a Dick, of course, as in Dick Cheney. “It’s an absolutely irrefutable message that both sides of the divide can agree upon,” Waldman writes on the site, cheneyisadick.com. “Yes, Cheney is a Dick, says the ever-sharp right-winger, just as Bush is a George. Yes, Cheney is a Dick, says the more evolved lefty, just as Bush is a Dick. See? Agreement! And once we see eye to eye about Dick, it’s only a matter of time before we begin shaking hands over Iraq, the economy, abortion, stem-cell research and who really won the 2000 election.”

“I was at a pro-choice rally with my wife in Washington,” says Waldman, who now runs an agency called the Shadow Group. “And I just started chanting, ‘Cheney is a Dick.’ Everyone started laughing and chanting it, too, so I thought, ‘Maybe there’s something to this.’ It’s all in good fun. And hopefully I can make a profit.”

All proceeds from sales of the bumper stickers (one for $5, three for $10) go to public education. To promote the site, Waldman is running radio spots on Air America. He even did the voiceover himself. “James Earl Jones was busy,” he says wryly.