Cover Your Eyes

When Bozell hired Tony Granger from TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris a year ago, his mission was clear: improve the creative product. Granger was making head way, and then the perfect assignment came along: creating ads for the Art Directors Club call for entries—a coveted project agencies can use to really show off their creative chops.

The New York shop went whole hog, creating two posters that would be deemed provocative by any standards. They show women engrossed in the ADC annual—one failing to notice that her kids are about to fry the pet pooch in the microwave, the other ignoring the newborn at her feet, who’s still attached by an umbilical cord (the latter was deemed too radical for the U.S. and ran only overseas).

Granger and Bozell president Tom Bernardin expected contro ver sy, but didn’t expect this. Sources tell Shoptalk that people at the agency itself—even some creatives and planners—got squeam ish, grousing that the work was “not Bozell” (um … wasn’t that the point?). Bernardin declined comment; Granger could not be reached.

Bernardin quickly fired off an internal memo. “It’s important to be seen as an agency with … a range of creative expertise from the conservative to the extreme,” he wrote. He attached a letter from ADC president Richard Wilde, saying the ads “surpassed our wildest dreams, and gave us a financial stability to keep our doors open.”

Shoptalk’s advice to the whiners: Sit down and shut up.