Angry farmers probably don't put much of a scare into the hardened heart of Madison Avenue.
In rural Vermont, however, farmers apparently have enough clout to get a Tri-State Megabucks lottery TV campaign yanked from the airwaves-and their ire may have contributed to KSV Communicators losing the account.
A trio of lottery spots broke in June starring actor Jim Gaffigan as an irascible, misanthropic farmer (shown here), who answers questions about the lottery with lines like, "I don't like people" and, to the film crew, "you're gonna have to leave."
The ads were pulled in July after "11 or so" farmers complained they were being portrayed in a negative light, according to Mark Ray, an official at Burlington, Vt.-based KSV. At about the same time, KSV lost the business to The Imagination Co. in Bethel, Vt., following a state-mandated review.
State officials contend the best shop prevailed, but KSV executives are convinced the flap was a factor.
Jon Carpenter, president of the Caledonia County Farm Bureau, an industry association, said, "I really didn't ask them to pull [the ads] but I'm glad [they did.]" -David Gianatasio