Agency Network: 
August 2008
Pardons Direct:  Prostitute


Print advertisement created by Hot Tomali, Canada for Pardons Direct, within the category: Professional Services.

Advertising Agency: Hot Tomali, Vancouver, Canada
Creative Director / Copywriter: Thomas Stringham
Art Director: Richard Henderson
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Wordnerd's picture

what a strange client. is this serious? Summer prizes to get rid of criminal records? (homepage)

However, for me the lines are not clear enough, and not funny/weird enough to be not clear. i also think print is the wrong media for a target group that "special"

Activity Score 6692
jamesrothenburg's picture

In Canada if you have a criminal record and have served your time/done community service and have then keep your record clean for 5 years you can apply for a pardon and get your record erased. Not for serious crimes like murder but for things like drugs and drinking and driving. Apparently is quite a lengthy process so there are businesses that will do the work for you.

These are pretty good. Good writing.

Activity Score 554
Art Director
BostonBob's picture

This agency should hire Paul Bernardo as a freelancer to write the ads.

Activity Score 45
LehmanMillet |


Copy_Can's picture

If you're stupid enough to pull your car over and ask a prostitute for directions, which this headline clearly implies, then you deserve to go to jail.

Weak, IMO.

SeanMartin's picture

I think that's the idea... :)

Copy_Can's picture

I think you missed my point. ;0)

SeanMartin's picture

Not at all. Look at the target market for this series -- prisoners who know they screwed up. Looking at it from their POV, it's a pretty neat little piece of double layering of meaning.

Copy_Can's picture

The other ad, "holding something" made the "victim" innocent. He didn't screw up, he just had bad luck.

In this case, sure, let's pardon him.

This one makes the "victim" an idiot, like, he knew she was a prostitute and he still pulled over. So yes, he screwed up.

And in this case, because you're an idiot, no, you shouldn't be pardoned - IMO.

SeanMartin's picture

All three of them make the guilty able to play the "victim" card to a degree, and that's what makes this series so good in speaking to its target market. All three are saying, "Yeah, I made a mistake" while the folks who can issue the pardon are saying, "Yeah, maybe you did." It's the *maybe* touch that makes it work so well, as it suggests that *both sides* are able to bend a lttle when it comes to these kinds of low-level, pardonable crimes.

Copy_Can's picture

You'll just never get it.

In my first post I said if you're stupid enough to pull over and ask a prostitute to get directions, then you deserve what comes to you. That is my opinion.

Never ONCE did I argue the strategy of the headlines.

THEN you post a message saying the ads are targeted towards "prisoners who know they screwed up", as though you're trying to educate me on the big "insight" or "strategy" behind these ads - which, by the way, I proved your observation is incorrect, RE: holding the bag headline.

But hey, if these headlines rock your socks...

redlightman's picture


Activity Score 32
S%S |

------Sex Sells-----

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