From time to time, we hear of publicity campaigns that get totally screwed up by current events even before they're launched... as distinct from the achievement of the John McCain crew, who needed to actually launch their latest anti-Obama campaign in order to get it screwed up.
In France, a creative genius in an ad agency had a brilliant idea for a campaign concerning a new automobile. The idea is that Dad has just purchased this vehicle, and he's driving his kids to school. But he's so infatuated by his new car that he simply forgets the kids on the back seat and just carries on driving for hours, absentmindedly. The planned tag lines were:
7.42 am: Your kids are on the back seat, ready to be driven to school.
3.37 pm: Your kids are still on the back seat.
What a great idea for an amusing ad. The only trouble is that, over the last few weeks, there were two separate cases of a French parent simply forgetting their child in a parked automobile. And the kids in question died as a result of the suffocating heat.
More recently, in Canada, the Greyhound bus company was about to lunch a campaign centered upon the relaxed atmosphere of overland bus travel. [I agree with their good intentions. Around 1985, I had the thrill of crossing Australia in this way on two occasions.] Sadly, their planned tag line evoking the absence of "bus rage" was ruined at the last minute by a crazy guy with a big knife and a taste for human flesh. So, I guess we'll never know the exact nature of the "reason" that the Greyhound folk had in mind.
Talking about things that might not be brought to the attention of readers, I'm wondering whether my compatriots in Australia have heard about a 39-year-old psychopathic Frenchman who's accused of having murdered, apparently in a fit of insanity, an 11-year-old boy. Here are police drawings of the accused fellow and his 49-year-old female companion:
At the time they were captured, a couple of days ago, they were trying to spread the message that they were "Australian pilgrims" who had come to France on a mysterious mission of destruction. My neighbor Madeleine, who doesn't necessarily bother to digest news stuff she picks up on TV, asked me yesterday: "Did you see that story about an evil Australian couple who murdered a child not far from here? " I had trouble convincing Madeleine that the suspected murderer and his lady friend are untraveled natives of France, with no links whatsoever to Australia, except maybe as hallucinations in their distorted minds.
It's a little spooky that diabolical fuckwits of this kind [caught out by a DNA analysis] might imagine Australia—which, most probably, they totally ignore—as a plausible origin. Where could they have picked up the idea that Australia is a likely place from which "pilgrims" might decide to set out on a satanic mission to France? One guess is that this association might be based upon recent Catholic Youth ballyhoo they glimpsed on TV when the pope was visiting Sydney. Or maybe they've been watching too many exotic Aussie travelogues.