Friday, July 16, 2010

VERITAS: TOUCHDOWN - PAMELA ANDERSON'S PETA POSTER

This week's perspective from Joe Chidley:

My colleague Bob Reid and I were talking about the pride of Ladysmith, BC the other day (I had the hardship posting once of having to interview her during her Baywatch days), and both of us agreed that despite the, um, contortions her career has taken over the years, Pamela Anderson has displayed remarkable savvy in managing her personal brand. After all, how many sex symbols can rival her for sheer longevity and continued notoriety? Then, as if someone was listening to us, Anderson unveiled (or tried to unveil) a provocative new campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), her favoured charity. The ad depicts a bikini-clad Anderson tattooed in the style of a butcher’s chart – with parts labelled in butcheresque terms like “breast,” “round,” “rump” and so on – under the headline, “All animals have the same parts.” Anderson’s plan was to launch the campaign in front of City Hall in Montreal, where she’s appearing at the Just for Laughs comedy festival. Mais non, said city officials, who judged the poster too sexist and racy for a public unveiling (which, of course, played right into Anderson’s hand.) She remarked (not without some merit) on the irony of being “banned” in Montreal – a city renowned for its palaces of pole dancing, among other pulchritudinous pastimes. But more to the point the banning got national and international media play for the ad, garnering her and her cause far more visibility than they ever would have enjoyed otherwise. Just luck? Or really smart PR? It’s a question that applies equally well to Anderson’s entire career as it does to the PETA ad dustup. Touchdown, Pam Anderson.

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