Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Maxim makes good

Last week, we heard on the Dave Nemo show on Sirius XM that the new Maxim was out and featured the make-good ad. You’ll likely recall the fracas Maxim found itself in last month after the entire trucking industry protested an ad that ran in its June issue. The image of a Kenworth, glaring out of the darkness, with the headline hanging over it proclaiming it as a “serial killer” really knocked you back on your heels.

The full-page ad touted the legal talents of a San Antonio-based personal injury law firm. If you did not see it, suffice it to say it wouldn’t have been a good idea for truckers to take a DOT physical after flipping open a Maxim in the doctor’s office and seeing that ad.

And while the killer ad had trucking in an uproar, the blatantly offensive nature of it united the trucking community in an extraordinary way. Truckers, motor carriers, truck stop chains, professional organizations all shared the job of putting pressure on the law firm for their ad and on Maxim for publishing it. Truckers personally went to truck stop managers and requested the magazines be tossed in the trash. Truck stops and big chains quickly lined up to rid the racks of the issue with the insulting message.

To its credit, Maxim acted quickly to remove the ad from their digital edition and went to work pulling print copies from store shelves. The publishers of Maxim went to Trucking Moves America Forward – the industry’s positive image initiative – and offered a free, full-page ad in the July/August issue. In the publishing business, we call that a “make-good.”

We here at Land Line joked about it a bit. Managing Editor Jami Jones was hoping for a trucker wearing a superhero cape. I sent Staff Writer Greg Grisolano out to fetch us a couple of the magazines.

Well, the ad isn’t quite that epic, but makes the point that a lot of the things we take for granted come by truck. Items you wouldn’t even think about.

The full-page color ad is a shot from the stands at a ballpark. The message is a checklist: “Nachos, Hot Dogs, Peanuts, Baseball – delivered to you by professional truck drivers.” It’s followed by a Web address for Trucking Moves America Forward, and the organization’s logo. (By the way, OOIDA is a member of this group.)

OK, no caped driver, but it makes the point that even a baseball game wouldn’t be complete if those things weren’t hauled in by 18-wheelers.  

Maybe what we really wanted was an on-their-knees apology from the law firm that placed the killer ad, but the “make-good” ad from Maxim?

We’ll take it.