Portland, Ore. shop Knoll, Dodge & Partners’ newspaper ad for Metropolitan Service Agency, a city agency that handles environmental issues, asked citizens to use alternatives to gardening pesticides. The day the ad ran, Metro got 1,800 calls of interest. But within hours, the state’s pesticide lobbyists were decrying the ad for attacking them. The TV news covered the issue, suits were threatened, and a Metro hearing aired both sides of the story. Testimony favoring the ad ran 5 to 1. Better yet, a month later the federal government said it would consider legislation to reduce pesticide use. Maybe the fed move wasn’t related, but it sure sounds like effective advertising to the folks at Knoll.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)