November 11, 2004
terror used to sell cigarettes in Israeli
by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich,
THE JERUSALEM POST
A LOCAL advertising agency that
claims there are "almost no holy cows" is using the
image of a jet aiming at the doomed Twin Towers to
sell cigarettes imported from Holland.
ad for Max cigarettes, which appears in the Hebrew
tabloids and was prepared by the Zarmon-Goldman
agency, uses two cigarettes standing vertically,
with the top quarter of one looking like it's about
to fall as a jet heads for it.
"The Dutch [one] that put the Americans
into shock [helem, in Hebrew] and
took them out of LM," says the full-page ad for Max
cigarettes. The LM refers to the best-selling US
brand L&M, while a slangy pronunciation of the
Hebrew word for shock sounds like LM.
"There's no arguing
about taste; everyone has his own opinion," said
Eilon Zarmon, an owner of the ad agency
who was asked to say whether he thought the
promotion was vulgar, given the fact that some
3,000 people died in the
terror attack on New York's World Trade Center
on September 11, 2001. "We are not afraid of
slaughtering holy cows," he added.
"There is a clear message here. The idea is to
attack L&M; we are not afraid to start up with
a big US cigarette maker. Max cigarettes are better
than L&M. They taste better and are produced
better. We think this ad is humorous, creative,
young and impudent," Zarmon said, declining to
reveal whether he smoked them himself.
There is nothing sacrosanct about the image of
the exploding Twin Towers, he maintained, as "it
has already been used in art and theater. One
needn't get too excited about using it."
The advertisement will continue to run, he said.
But when asked what he would do if the US Embassy
in Tel Aviv expressed revulsion over the ad, Zarmon
said: "We will consider our reaction if they say
so. Embassy officials were unavailable for comment,
as yesterday was a US holiday, Veterans' Day.
The ad agency owner was asked what he thought of
a controversial potato chip ad currently running on
Channel 2 TV. It shows an elderly man tripping his
frail wife with his walking stick and, when she
lands flat on her face, jabbing its end into her
back to keep her down so she won't get her hands on
a package of potato chips that fell on the floor.
"It's a very funny ad," said Zarmon in
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