Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This reminds me of a story.

This billboard for Ulstertrade in Ireland was removed because of its suggestive nature. Here's the story it reminds me of -- or, as a proper grammarian would say-- the story of which it remindeth me.

About 15 years or so ago, we did what I thought was a pretty cool Christmas card (See below). We featured Karen's father, John Nasuti, one of the great sports of all time as a bum in the back seat of a limo with a couple of babes and a bottle of champagne and it was shot by my buddy Ira Wexler, one of the great photographers of all time. The concept was that instead of donating money to charity for the holidays to make a lot of people a bit happier, we'd decided to make one guy really happy.

We (Pat Cunningham, our art director at the time, and me) knew we needed girls of a certain moral outlook on life and a limo for the shot. I'd noticed a company called "Limo-Grams" in the back of the Washingtonian Magazine and called them up to see if they'd help Sure thing the owner -- one "Doctor" Phil Good (get it? Phil Good?) -- said, and one morning they turned up with Girls and Car.

While they were setting up the shot Ira and I were talking to "Dr. Phil" and Ira asked, innocently enough, what the deal with his limo service was. "Well," the good doctor said, "the customer gets in the back seat with the girl, I roll up the tinted glass between us and drive around for an hour. Whatever happens back there is between them."

"Really!" said Ira, as only Ira can, as I hustled off to suggest to Karen's father that he not touch anything in the back seat.

Anyway, Dr. Phil didn't want any money, but suggested that maybe we could do an ad for him in exchange. We did. Pat came up with what I thought was a funny headline: "Each of our limos comes with a great set of headlights" and the image was, well, you can imagine what the image was.

We showed it to Phil. "It's not dirty enough," he said. "Buy maybe we can do a movie package instead. I'm getting in to porn movies and maybe you guys can design some packaging for us. How about that?"

"How much do I owe you Phil", I said. "I think we're done here."

(Addendum. At one point during the shoot, Pat came over to me, and in a soft voice said "Woody, I'm sorry, but that girl on the left? Those are just too big.")