Placement’s A Bitch

When Frank Luca’s shop Transfusion received an out-of-home creative assignment for client Affiliated Animal Health, he originally took the safe road.
The Staten Island, N.Y.-based chain of animal hospitals wanted something akin to a PSA from the New York shop, asking owners to spay or neuter their pets. Some relatively tame billboards were pitched, but agency president Luca couldn’t resist a more daring effort (shown here): a fluffy poodle and the phrase, “Treat the bitch right.”
The client loved the idea and wanted it put up immediately–outside of metropolitan New York City. The company, in the process of acquiring additional hospital chains, did not want to offend potential investors. So, Luca began what has to date been a fruitless effort to get media placement. Outdoor ad companies from Pittsburgh to Ohio to the Adirondacks have refused the ad.
“Everybody thinks its funny,” said Luca, who is also creative director. “It’s just one of those things. In this PC world we live in, people are just nervous.”
–Sloane Lucas