Can we ban the concept of ‘banned’ ads?

Maybe it’s the 20 calls a day we get asking if we received that press release, but we get frustrated with the often ham-handed efforts of our friends in the wooly world of PR. One gambit that’s getting particularly tiresome is the “banned commercial,” à la Go Daddy’s 2005 Super Bowl spot. Bluefly, the dot-com survivor that sells high-end fashion on the cheap, is making the banned commercial a recurring theme. A year ago, it came out with risqué ads that showed butt crack. This apparently wasn’t kosher with some cable nets, although wasn’t Dennis Franz the unfortunate blazer of that trail? Bluefly tried to milk it for all it was worth, getting coverage of the “ban” in the New York Post and Boston Herald. Bluefly’s back with some more “tasteful nudity” (the PR rep’s words, not mine), also nixed by stodgy broadcast TV. What’s a risk-taking brand to do? We know—skip buying pricey TV time, slap it online and call it viral. For what it’s worth, here’s the “tasteful nudity”—SFW depending on how uptight your office is.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey