Putting A Finger On It

Could a yo-yo ad actually be too daring for a shock jock and a bunch of pro wrestlers?
The GFS/Levinson Group’s ad for Duncan Toys in Cleveland shows kids flaunting their middle fingers. The spot then reveals the offensive digit with a string around it, and a pro performing elaborate yo-yo tricks. “Give us a finger, we’ll give you the power,” says a voiceover.
But placement was tough. Howard Stern’s show on E! and such late-night MTV programs as Celebrity Deathmatch accepted a version with blurred-out “birds”; World Championship Wrestling on TNT rejected the spot, and the World Wrestling Federation took weeks to agree on an edit with the New York shop.
“The finger pointing, versus going upward, is okay, but a finger pointing sideways is not acceptable,” noted creative director Joel Levinson.
The WWF finally accepted a version of the spot similar to the one the agency first submitted. Said media director Ernie Fossa, “We pinned them!”
–Emily Fromm