ON THE OFFENSIVE | Adweek ON THE OFFENSIVE | Adweek
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ON THE OFFENSIVE

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Several newspapers nationwide last week bristled at running a Fund for Animals plea to Neiman Marcus not to sell fur at its department stores.

The execution shows a photograph of a young bobcat with the headline, "She needs her fur coat more than Neiman Carcass does." The body of the ad is an open letter to Neiman Marcus' CEO, Burton Tansky, and president, Gerald Sampson, asking them to cease their sales of fur and fur-trimmed clothing. A portion of the letter states, "No matter how you look at it, fur isn't chic."

The ad broke in The Washington Post on Nov. 29, which was "Fur-Free Friday." Several protests occurred at 22 Neiman Marcus stores across the country to mark the day.

USA Today, The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Boston Globe all refused to run the nonprofit organization's ad. Most cited the ad's use of "Neiman Carcass" as offensive.

"We were astounded that so many papers refused to publish the ad," said Heidi Prescott, national director of the Fund for Animals, whose campaign headquarters are in Silver Spring, Md. "[Neiman Marcus claims] to be socially responsible, and they are trendsetters in the industry. Giving up fur would not hurt them financially, and it would set a good example for other department stores to follow."