It's a mark of the craziness level in the world when pure satire becomes undetectable. And by that measure, advertising may be officially out of control.
A bored design student in the Netherlands set up a Web site, instoresnow.nl, purporting to be that of a new ad agency. Among his visionary offerings: ads placed in churches, off the shore of beaches, on animals at a zoo, and on the bodies of Dutch hookers.
Needless to say, many took such creative thinking as a perfectly serious business proposition. The student, Raoul Balai, even set up a phone number for his "agency," which does nothing but keep prospective customers on hold listening to ads until they finally hang up. And the Amsterdam Zoo fired off a cease-and-desist letter to the unemployed imaginary ad guru for picturing the zoo's fish on his Web site, plastered with corporate logos.
Balai told Reuters that he was "sick and tired of advertising everywhere" and thought that satire was the best way to register his objections. Sorry, young man. In an age when online casinos buy people's forehead space on eBay for logo tattoos, satire is a lost art. But don't worry, Raoul - with creativity like that, you can land a sweet job at an ad agency.
3. On the right track