SAN FRANCISCO Implied nudity was too much for Bay Area Comcast and KTVU-Fox television, which refused to air a new spot from independent Hub Strategy until it was cleaned up, the agency said.
The humorous ad for Expression College for Digital Arts shows a man so frustrated by his boring, maddening office job that he flies into frenzy during a presentation, stripping down to his shorts. The last scene shows him leaving the office with a box of his possessions, naked but with his genitals blurred.
The campaign is meant to challenge people to pursue a career they are passionate about, because we spend so much of our lives at work, said D.J. O'Neil, president of Hub in San Francisco.
O'Neil said Comcast's decision stunned him.
"When we received notice that our TV spot wouldn't be aired by KTVU-Fox, we were not surprised. But Comcast cable's refusal to run this threw us for a loop," he said.
Anticipating it might not go over well, O'Neil said Hub created a second version of the spot showing "the guy in his tighty-whities." That commercial ran.
"What we find surprising is that they would reject our advertisement while they air [inappropriate] shows that appear during family-viewing hours on stations like Fox or on Howard Stern," O'Neil said.
The marketing director for the college, based in Emeryville, Calif., said she loved Hub's ad concept and wanted to get noticed with the campaign.
"We certainly didn't expect Comcast to censor our ads, especially considering what they show on TV these days," Karen Wertman said.
Campaign spending was not disclosed.