lali lessons in advertising #7: don’t be sexist and have a tough skin

Is any press really good press? When people tweet that Nissan should fire their copywriter for being sexist (and that copywriter happens to be me), maybe not.

Thank goodness Nissan didn’t listen to those naysayers and I still have a job.

Here’s the story:

Nick Ciffone (pronounced Nixophone like saxophone) is a new copywriter here (sorry we stole him RPA!). He and I wrote a radio script together for Pandora. Not a big deal. Actually, we kinda threw it together because we had so much stuff going on.

Here’s the script:
Radio Script

And here’s the petition to take it down:

(On a good note she didn’t get any signatures!) On a bad note, other people agree with her. Check out this article about sexist commercials… Yah, we’re the first example.


And this tweet, where they recommend physically beating us.
fire your agency

At least the tweet is grammatically incorrect in a number of places?? And li and I don’t have any bruises yet????

Well, let me just say I feel a little bad about being sexist. I promise I didn’t mean it. And while we offend people all the time with the work we do, this isn’t the way I’d like to offend. It just goes to show that no project is too small (it was just a little mobile radio ad! on pandora only! to boys only!), and what we write/art direct/create really is out there in the world for people to see, feel and react to.

So the next time I tell someone to be promiscuous with their music (and it really was more about the music and less about the ladies), I’ll leave it at just the music. Really it was a way for me to end the sentence with a metaphor and hey, the Juke is the car that makes really popular videos out of girls running in slow motion in bikinis…

So really I was just sticking with the campaign. I guess not an excuse, but really, Lindsey and I are creatives who like our creative luggage to match!

Thankfully, Juke is almost over and we can move on to Versa and a non-millenial-male target and I can stop writing sexist ads that make people recommend Nissan fire me!!!




Filed under lali, lali lessons

8 responses to “lali lessons in advertising #7: don’t be sexist and have a tough skin

  1. NR

    It seems ironic that someone so “enlightened” that he was offended by your ad is advocating physically beating a woman. Carson York, it is not ok to hit a woman. Ever. Even if her ad realllly offends you.

  2. Pingback: Copywriter of Nissan Pandora commercial didn't mean to be sexist

  3. I heard it too and did not more than a mental double take. It wasn’t so bad. But it did cause a speed bump in my brain. Very cool of you to apologize. I often wonder about the best way to handle little public mishaps. Turns out I learned it all in kindergarten. #keepwriting

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  5. I NEVER, EVER call companies and complain about their ads – but I actually called Nissan and complained about this one last spring right after I heard it on Pandora. When I told the operator at Nissan what the ad said, she said, “Oh my gosh, I cannot believe that. I am so sorry. You don’t even have to explain why you’re offended.” She transferred me to a guy who transferred me to another guy, etc. – none of the guys seemed to get it. Apparently, someone eventually did.

    Just so you know, as the young father of two little girls, this ad made me cringe, and it infuriated me. Culturally, it perpetuates the idea that my girls are worthy of little more than getting “tapped” like a song on a playlist by some horny guy in the 18-25 advertising demographic. Gross. I believe you are a small part of what makes parenting little girls an uphill battle today (

    Unfortunately, the nonchalant tone of your blog indicates that you don’t get how offensive this was to dads like me – wow. Hopefully, my comment has conveyed some of the reaction that others apparently had, even if they didn’t tweet about it or call Nissan directly.

    Interesting blog though. Good luck.

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