Counter-Clio (“Schmio”) Winners

Leslie Savan’s “Excellence In Blaxploitation”:


“[Miller Lite’s ‘Dick the ad man’ campaign] looks like a very funny, hip spoof of blaxploitation movies, but when you boil it all down, it’s a postmodern minstrel show.”

Mark Miller’s “Aldous Huxley Award” for the most disarming vision of totalitarianism:


“Here is Time Warner celebrating the sad fact that we can’t get away from them — that Time Warner, and its products, are embedded in our minds. Not too long ago, this would have been the premise for a horror film — now it’s the corporation’s boast in these appalling ads.”

Pat Aufderheide’s “Hype-ocrisy Award”:


Though Johnson & Johnson promotes its HIV detection kit in the gay media, it chose not to advertise on the “coming out” episode of “Ellen.” Not your run-of the-mill act of cowardice, “Johnson & Johnson deserves the Hype-ocrisy Award for its inability to commit common human decency on prime time. And we’ll share with them a slogan we just heard on Capitol Hill: ‘A spine is a terrible thing to waste.'”

Jean Kilbourne’s “Last Tango On Madison Avenue Award” for the most deviant use of a dairy product:


“As thinness has become the equivalent of virginity, food in ads is increasingly sexualized. An ad featuring spermlike spoons swimming into a perfect egg-shaped scoop of ice cream is one bold example.”

Kilbourne also noted that the ubiquitous “milk mustache” ads from the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board have “mainstreamed the cum shot.”

John Stauber’s “Toxic Sludge Is Good For You Award” for advertising best disguised as journalism:


“[The award] goes to America’s TV news directors for annually airing as ‘news’ thousands of ‘video news releases.’ VNRs are biased and deceptive propaganda disguised as TV journalism and provided free by PR agencies.”

Makani Themba’s “Jimmy The Greek Big Black Buck Award” for the most demeaning targeted marketing campaign:


Salon magazine reports that Themba will be sending the company “a free breakfast at Denny’s and a complimentary copy of Mandingo.

Jeff Chester’s, Kathryn Montgomery’s, and Shelley Pasnik’s “Oh What A Tangled Web(Site) You Weave Award” for the Web site which most craftily ensnares children:


Matt Weiland’s and Tom Vanderbilt’s “History Is Bunk Award”:


For an ad where striking workers are delivered a pizza — courtesy of their smiling boss.

Marcia Ann Gillespie’s and Barbara Findlen’s “The More Things Change The More You Ensure They Stay The Same Award”:

TEN PRINT ADS from the Ms. magazine “‘No Comment’ Hall of Fame”

“Feminism has done a lot to improve the portrayal of women in advertising, but as ‘No Comment’ has eloquently been demonstrating for 25 years, the many anti-woman themes persist.”

One of the winners: a camera ad that urged readers to “Take Your Mother-in-Law Out and Shoot Her.”

Charles Kernaghan’s “Lifetime Achievement Award”:


“In 1996, Nike had no trouble finding $1.8 million a day for advertising — lauding the strength of women who only need a chance — yet in the real world Nike can only find 20 to 30 cents an hour, true starvation wages, for the more than 200,000 young women making Nike sneakers in sweatshops in Indonesia, Vietnam and China.”

Information obtained from Media & Democracy Congress.

One More Thing

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We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

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