Something fishy at the T

Talkin' fish

Let's see: Green Line trolleys are falling off the tracks and getting into fatal smashups. Downtown Crossing is catching on fire and Red Line trains have to slow down so they don't fall off the Longfellow. And what is the Boston Carmen's Union so upset about it was threatening a work action?

Yes, of course, Legal Seafood ads on the sides of trolleys, one of which has a talking fish exclaiming how the conductor of the train has a face like a halibut. Stephen MacDougall, president of the union, carps that the ads make his members feel like crappie:

To say they are angered and offended is to put it lightly. I will tell you this: If they don't come down, we will not drive those trains. ... Who the hell wants to say they have a face like a fish? I happen to like to eat fish, and I like seafood, and I like going fishing, but I don't want anybody saying that I or any of my members look like a fish.

Have no fear. Responding swiftly to the crisis, T management immediately ordered the ads removed.

The Outraged Liberal also discusses this fluke campaign.

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Comments

The boston.com article

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The boston.com article states: [Legal Seafoods' Roger] Berkowitz said he was surprised by the decision because Legal Sea Foods did not hear any complaints after it sponsored a virtually identical ad campaign earlier this year on the tops of Boston taxicabs. Those ads showed a fish declaring, "this driver has a face like a halibut."

Don't most Boston area cabbies own or lease their own cabs? So, just maybe, they have some say in which ads ride around on their vehicles, unlike T drivers? Or, just maybe, cabbies feel less like they're the, uh, tail of the joke and more like they're in on it when they're driving around with that ad on their roofs and they have direct contact with their passengers, unlike most T drivers? It seems to me that the anonymous driver of a train/trolley car might feel a bit more like s/he's being, well, baited with that ad on his/her car. Why don't we ever put signs on the trains that compliment the carmen, anyway, or at least let them in on the joke?

Hey, Berkowitz, how about, "This driver doesn't brake for crabs"? Or, "This driver won't leave his perch until you get home safely" (this could have a picture of a car-man holding a fish under his arm).

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Why don't we ever put signs

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Why don't we ever put signs on the trains that compliment the carmen

Because that wouldn't be funny, and wouldn't fit into the entire concept behind the ad, which is that the fish are fresh.

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Wow.

There is a time and place for everything. They completely chose the wrong place.

I'm one who doesn't get offended at anything, but how does a professional advertising agency not realize that these phrases will offend several others. Suggesting that my sister is a slut? Making fun of people with big noses? The halibut line seems harmless enough, but I understand the drivers' concern.

And the thing that really stymies me is why those phrases would actually make me think "Geez, I really should eat at Legal Sea Foods sometime soon." Especially since, according to the picture, there's no indication of Legal on the ad.

Perhaps someone could make another ad and post it over the existing one, which reads: "Legal Seafoods, I went down on your mom last night, and it was the best tuna I ever had."

Sorry, I'm usually not that crass, but this whole ad campaign drives me bonkers.

I really did like Liberal's idea of something about sardines. Much more appropriate to the green line. But of course, NYC advertisers wouldn't know that, would they?

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How you know it's for Legal

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It was one of those take-over-the-whole-train deals, so somewhere on the train, it did mention the restaurant.

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Oh, please. It's not even

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Oh, please. It's not even that unusual. I forget which supermarket chain it was, but someone else had a similar one with 'fresh produce' that sat on the shelves in the tv ad, and made fresh remarks.

It's not the cleverest ad campaign ever, but it's reasonable enough. I can't believe that anyone would ever take it personally, or be so thin-skinned that they could be upset over this.

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Legal's previous fresh fish

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Didn't they used to have something on their paper placemats that showed a sneering male fish pinching a blushing female fish, who was telling him "Fresh!" ?

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That was then

Now American female fish are freaks who don't ever like to be touched ...

I have to say, the "fresh fish" campaign seems to be aimed at an older generation who is a little more familiar with the "humor" of a male being insulted because his sister enjoys her sexuality and refuses to be ashamed of it.

Maybe the ad agency will move on the the McCain campaign.

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Update: Conductor quips are gone.

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Saw five Type 7s with the Legal Sea Foods "fresh fish" horrible jokes today. On every car, the "conductor" quip has been replaced with a blue panel with Legal's logo.

Further proof that, when T management really wants something, it gets done in a hurry.

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