in Mouth™ Spotlight?
again, we continue to take aim at the worst, most irresponsible
creative campaigns we’ve
seen and urge creators to be more responsible with the
immense power they have to impact others.
following ratings legend is used on The Inner Bottom
Line to reflect, in our opinion, an absence
or misuse of good ethical values. They’re attached
whenever applicable after each review:
to all. Destructive and abusive. STAY AWAY!!
Trash Zone. (Zero redemption or recycling value,
even in California).
Crossed or non-existent boundaries.
MESS! Puleeze go back to Frame #1 and start over!
us, but did we really see what we think we saw???
us, but did we really hear what we think we heard???
DANGER! Exposure could do real damage!
ask “what were you thinking” but we
know the answer: you weren’t!
By fall, 2003, while films continued to threaten to take first place away from
advertising and commercials in the bad taste and offensive action department,
we were forced to focus on one seemingly innocuous commercial campaign:
Insurance assaulted us with a concept that ranged from
tasteless, utterly inappropriate, and insensitive to,
in one instance, sadistic behavior.
worst of the worst was:
particular spot within the Geico campaign that took
the cake and ran away with it, in our opinion, depicted
a convict in orange coveralls sitting at the table
in a stark interrogation room.
man, whom we eventually realize is the convict’s
lawyer, is shown standing next to the table talking
on the phone. He completes the call, appearing to
be overjoyed with the news he’s obviously just
received. He tells the convict that he’s just
gotten great news. When the convict asks if he’s
being paroled, the lawyer replies, ‘No! I just
found out I can save a lot of money with Geico!”
Someone check the water and food (ahem!) supplies at
this company’s agency of record. Did they really
think that this was making good fun? Well, we beg to
differ. It’s mean-spirited and sadistic, much less
disrespectful and rude. For shame!
is our condensed recap of past winning losers that included:
“Jackass: The Movie.” This
was a terrifying glorification of destructive, abusive
behavior, combined with the lowest level of taste
possible, that capitalized off the success of the
TV series that resulted in tragic outcomes for a
number of teens emulating stunts depicted on air.
Bottom line: this film raked in an even bigger bonanza
of profits off their loyal following.
“Forty Days & Forty Nights.” This
misbegotten film, while featuring two of the most talented
young actors today, Josh Hartnett & Shannyn Sossamon,
nevertheless set a new low for gross peer behavior and
abusive, non-existent boundaries between friends and co-workers.
Soup. This TV campaign was based on an insulting,
deprecating concept depicting a “smarter, grown-up-taste” person
who knows how to buy the “right” soup and
instructs the “stupid, childish-taste” person
to grow up and “buy right.”
The Inner Bottom Line bestows our special Halo award upon those artistic achievements
and projects that reflect the highest standards of ethical story telling, example
and character portrayal.
first Halo winner, “Finding
Forrester”, set the bar very high
for those who follow with its sensitive, insightful,
strong and uncompromising look at respect for privacy,
appropriate boundaries, integrity, fairness, honesty
and loyalty of the highest caliber.
are pleased to add to our first winner the following
films that have depicted difficult or complex messages
with honesty, respect, sensitivity, courage, fairness
and taste - something that has been in short supply in
Hollywood in recent times.
And The Halo Award goes to…
“Far From Heaven”, an
extraordinary, delicate, brave and heart-wrenchingly
honest story about love, relationship and bigotry that
is encased within exquisite aesthetic dimensions and
photography by director Todd Haynes and portrayed by
Julianna Moore, Dennis Hasbert and Dennis Quaid with
piercing directness, vulnerability and taste.
Hours”, an outstanding example of honest,
courageous and uncompromising story-telling that features
amazing character portrayals by Nicole Kidman, Julianna
Moore and Meryl Streep seamlessly woven together over
three different decades and sub-cultures through brilliant
direction and editing.
a brilliant, unflinching and uncompromising film about
marriage, infidelity, passion and rage and the resultant
consequences of those emotions told with brutal, naked
honesty and featuring a multi-faceted, rainbow-like,
achingly magical performance by Diane Lane that leaves
While we firmly support the right of each of us to express our opinions and
feelings, we also firmly believe that adults, as well as media, press, and
commercial organizations, have a huge responsibility and enormous privilege
to be accountable for the messages they transmit, for the examples they set,
and for the resultant disasters they encourage.