Fruitcake is No Laughing Matter

Last month, DeVito/Verdi launched what it thought was a harmless new campaign for client Linens ‘n Things. Now the agency stands accused of being biased against the fruitcake industry.
One TV spot (shown here) shows a Linens ‘n Things wastebasket serving as a perfect receptacle for an unwanted fruitcake received as a Christmas gift.
Shortly after the commercial aired, agency president Ellis Verdi received a letter
of complaint from Irving, Texas, ad agency Temerlin McClain. Chairman Liener Temerlin, on behalf of client Collin Street Bakery, which markets fruitcakes, demanded the New York shop cease “attacking fruitcake.”
“Certainly there are bad fruitcakes,” Temerlin wrote, but “when fruitcakes are denigrated you are denigrating [Collin’s] product, their company and their employees.” He called for the agency to revise the ad.
Verdi was assured the letter was not a joke. Temerlin declined comment.
Verdi has no plans to alter the ad.
–Sloane Lucas and Glen Fest