The timing couldn't have been better.
A major story was developing from allegations that a University of Minnesota basketball players hired a tutor to take their exams, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper had a prominent outdoor ad featuring a burrowing basketball (shown here), playing off UM's Golden Gopher nickname to showcase its "in-depth coverage" of the university's basketball team.
There was only one problem--the Star-Tribune didn't break the news. The exclusive belonged to Twin Cities rival the St. Paul Pioneer Press, leaving the newspaper with egg on its face.
"I was afraid you were going to ask about that," said Tom Gabriel, creative director/ copywriter at Gabriel Diericks Razidlo in Minneapolis, which created the ad. Gabriel said he has received a little hazing about the ad and its unfortunate timing, but that's it.
The billboard will come down shortly, he added, but only because the buy has run its course. --Aaron Baar