L.A. Story

The battle over a new Los Angeles Times campaign (themed, “Connecting us to the Times) that has offended some of the newspaper’s reporters and the Muslim community has ended.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Southern California, last week got the Times to pull one ad, showing shots of blondes in bikinis next to photos of Islamic women in chadors, from print outlets, TV and billboards.
“This ad ignores the fact that California is multicultural and multireligious,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR-LA. “It fosters the misperception of Muslim women being oppressed and subhumanly treated. It also indicates the Times believes a woman in Islamic dress is somehow not one of ‘us.’ “
“This ad is designed to be like the newspaper: impactful and insightful,” said Court Crandall, creative partner at Ground Zero in Playa del Rey, Calif. “I have no issue with it being pulled. I just wish someone would tell me why it’s so offensive.”
In a letter to CAIR, Times svp of marketing James Helin wrote: “We wish to go forward with mutual respect for each other.”
Coming a day after talks had stalled, the move was “a pleasant surprise,” Ayloush said. “Everybody’s happy now. We wish them the best with their campaign.”
–Mark Lang