"Do you have what it takes to drive the big rigs?" That's the question the Advertising Club of Connecticut asks in a direct mail piece soliciting entries to its 46th annual creative awards presentation.
The materials feature patently unflattering photographs of truckers, and suggest that entrants not winning awards take up a career on the open road. "Just send us examples of the best advertising you've created over the past year and our panel of experts will determine if you're New England Truck Driving Academy Material," copy reads, referencing a fictitious trucking school.
"It's a cheap shot. It's sophomoric," said Mark Greenberg, owner of the real New England Tractor Trailer School in Somers, Conn., which operates five training centers in the region. "Nonetheless, I respect the people I've done advertising with." At present, the school uses a shop in Massachusetts for its paid media needs.
Jackie Farnham, executive director of the Ad Club, said she has received no complaints about the piece, which was crafted by Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn.