Pregnant belly in ad mistaken for man’s butt

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Adland has the scoop on what must be the year's stupidest ad controversy. A health clinic in Port St. Lucie, Fla., placed the ad shown on the left—with a boy kissing a woman's pregnant belly—in the local papers. Soon, bizarrely, the complaints started flooding in. "We were deluged," says a clinic rep. "Callers kept saying, 'You're disgusting! I can't believe you'd put that in the paper: a picture of a man mooning a child.' " Adds a second client rep: "This came out of nowhere. People were screaming at us about it, and none of us could fathom which ad they were talking about and what they were seeing." Rather than explain the difference between a woman's pregnant belly and a man's ass, the clinic chose to replace the ad with the one on the right.

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.