Catch this iconic television ad which first aired in 1971 but continued for a number of years after, just as Generation X was growing up. The iconic native American crying ad (incidentally, the book disclosed that the actor wasn't native American, but Italian-American) can be seen below, or by visiting http://youtu.be/9Dmtkxm9yQY:
The Ad Council was the creative force behind these iconic public service advertising (PSA) campaigns including the crying native American as well as versions of Smokey the Bear and others. And while the Ad Council's creativity was behind the ads, the organization which based in New York City, began as part of the war effort in the 1940s. But the actual organization which paid to run the ads was an organization that called itself Keep America Beautiful, which sounds innocent enough, but isn't your grassroots Sierra Club. In reality, it is/was a a pseudo-charity funded by the packaged good manufacturers in this country. In other words, companies like McDonald's, Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, Reynolds Aluminium, Nestle Waters, the American Chemistry Council — these are the companies who produce both the chemicals and the packaging material that ends up in our waste stream and in our garbage stream, and they were the ones lecturing us to pick up our waste to keep America Beautiful. If only the ads weren't funded by the companies that created all that waste!
|Book by Wendy Melillo|
I think its important to acknowledge that Ms. Melillo isn't trying to discredit the Ad Council's work. Indeed, she claims it is a "premier organization we have in this country for public service advertising. And it does a lot of good." She says her goal with this book is to take a look at the business model, and to recognize that there are some limitations. She says society can work together to determine how we can improve that to make it even better, but she clearly thinks that one of the keys is making sure people know what the current business model's limitations actually are.