Segall Helps Guide Anti-War Ads

Having settled its conflict with Clear Channel Communications over an incendiary anti-war billboard planned for Times Square, issue-advocacy group Project Billboard is forging ahead on modified messages with help from an ad-agency exec recruited through its Apple connections.

Ken Segall, partner and worldwide cd at Havas’ Euro RSCG in New York, was wooed to pro bono politics by Laurene Powell, wife of Apple founder Steve Jobs and one of six mostly Berkeley-connected women who comprise Project Billboard’s board. Segall, 54, was a cd on Apple’s “Think different” campaign while at TBWA\Chiat\Day from 1997-2000. “I always wanted to be involved in political advertising,” he said.

Project Billboard planned an ad for Times Square timed to the Republican National Convention in August. Segall offered 30-40 ideas, aiming for “great creative with a good legal foundation.” Clear Channel objected to the bomb ad below, and Project Billboard sued; under a settlement, Project Billboard will not run the ad (which was to appear on the Marriott Marquis hotel), but it will get two billboards in Times Square for $299,000, versus one for $368,000. The dove ad below will appear on the W Hotel, and a dollar-ticker ad showing the cost of the war in Iraq will run on the Condé Nast building.

“We never wanted litigation,” said board member Deborah Rappaport. “We want an ever-widening circle of support so we can put up billboards in metro areas all over the country.”

Apple ad veterans at Witt/Rylander Advertising in San Francisco are Segall’s creative partners.