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Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

Young & Rubicam/Chicago launches pro-bono gun violence campaign

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liveboywalking.jpgGun-related violence is not an obvious topic to wax witty about, but Young & Rubicam/Chicago nonetheless has tried to do so in a new pro-bono ad campaign for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. No one is going to argue that gun violence isn't a problem in Chicago. It certainly is. And a big one for which no one seems to have a viable solution. But in the absence of one, ICHV and Y&R are trying to remind the public that something has to be done -- and soon.

Y&R's effort to draw attention to the problem involves kids fashion and bullet-proof vests. In a series of bus shelter executions we see adorable children dressed in the latest spring fashion -- which in each instance also includes a vest to protect against gunshots.

In one ad, we see two young girls and the headline "Alive on Arrival," along with ad copy that states in part: "Whether it's just a bit chilly or raining bullets, this cozy vest is sure to protect your child from all the elements." Another ad features a young boy and the headline "Live Boy Walking," together with ad copy that says in part: "Turn the local park back into a playground. This vest fits snug, while leaving arms and hands free to raise in the air for that 'don't shoot I'm innocent' stance."

There is more copy in both ads that points out that more than 150 kids have been shot this year in Chicago -- more than 25 of them shot dead. The statistics are grim indeed, which is why it may be hard for some who see these ads to smile at the thought of combining bullet-proof vests with the latest fashion sense. In other words, tone and message in the ads don't quite mesh. But at least the problem is getting some attention. The ads will go up on 50 bus shelters throughout the city.

2 Comments

I totally support the Ad campaign. This is a very seriouse issue . This is the harsh reality that we have to face and at least it is being recognized as such.We are losing our children in more ways than one but in the end death is the result. It is not just drug dealers fighting over turf any more. It is different personalities, life styles ect.The bad guys are winning and life suddenly has no value at all, it is becomming the norm and we should not stand back and grieve then wait untill the next one to make headlines. We need a revolution against violence, drugs, deaths of innocent people. Where are these guns comming from? Some one knows the answer.parents cant controll their kids with out the law stepping in,Give me back my right to parent! Because when they hurt someone or take a life you look at me the parent and ask where was I.Stop letting these kids drop out of school. There are killers in all our neighborhoods, invading our homes our schools our play grounds. A felon cant work so he does what he do best. Where is the programs to help them become better citizins instead of putting them in hole's to learn how to become better criminals. Some one has decided to take a stand. We all need to take a stand because we are all loosing. Children have no parents, parents are burying their kids. Innocnet people die every day it is a war zone in the United States, but we are in other countries trying to keep the peace. Well, there is trouble at home! in every neighborhood. Yes i support this.

I wish they had taken more than 5 minutes to do it. Sloppy. I know it's pro-bono and all, but if you think it's worth your time, then it deserves the same attention to detail as a paying client. The W is practically falling off the word WALKING, you could drive a truck through the O and Y in boy (while the B and O are nice and snug), and the type selection, letter spacing and forced justified lines contribute to make this very hard to read. Surely, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence deserves a little better than this.

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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