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The Story Behind “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” Awards

Ninety-one percent of women say advertisers don’t understand them.* And one advertising industry organization has had a little fun with it for over a decade.

In election year 1996, Margie Goldsmith, an Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) board member, noticed an ad for Wonderbra which appeared in a woman’s magazine. The ad was a photo of three sexy female models “candidates”, each one wearing only a lacy push-up Wonderbra. The headline read, “SURE BEATS VOTING FOR PRESIDENT.” The body copy of the ad asked readers to go into any department store and vote for one of the three featured models in the photo. Goldsmith, who at the time was the Board advisor of AWNY’s Public Relations Committee, walked into the meeting holding up the Wonderbra ad. “Look at this,” she said, “It took us as women almost a century to get to vote and now they ask us to vote for a pair of boobs?

We ought to have an awards ceremony for ads which denigrate women.”

The Public Relations committee took up the challenge – to create an awards ceremony that would both celebrate advertising that depicted women positively, and embarrass those advertisers whose ads denigrated women. The ONLY judging criterion was, “Would you show the ad to your daughter or son?”

The awards ceremony was called “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” Awards, and first was held in September 1997. Surprisingly, the Wonderbra ad did not even receive an “Ugly” award, as there were so many more ads that were even more degrading to women.

The overwhelming success and positive press encouraged AWNY’s PR Committee to make the event an annual awards ceremony.

*Marketing to Women Conference

Source: aef.com

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email
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