The conductors of Boston’s Green Line trolleys aren’t exactly amused by a new ad campaign for Legal Sea Foods that accuses them of having faces like a halibut, says the Boston Globe. The campaign features “fresh fish,” that toss out hilarious insults such as: “Hey lady, I’ve seen smaller noses on a swordfish,” and, “This trolley gets around more than your sister.” Har, har, har. Most of the ads are fairly innocuous, but one has the trolley conductors seeing red. It reads: “This conductor has a face like a halibut.”
“You can’t take everything personally,” said Deana Cruthird, 31, at Kenmore station.
And, besides, said Russell Sweet, 48, “There are plenty of other things to be offended about.”
But that’s not the view of Stephan G. MacDougall, president of the Boston Carmen’s Union, who fielded 40 phone calls from Green Line workers incensed by the ads.
“To say they are angered and offended is to put it lightly,” MacDougall said. “I will tell you this: If they don’t come down, we will not drive those trains.”
MacDougall said he likes Legal Sea Foods, and cannot understand why the company and the T could not have anticipated a backlash to the ads.
“Who the hell wants to say they have a face like a fish?” he said. “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.”
The ad agency doesn’t see anything wrong with making fun of trolley conductors. They told the Globe that they rejected one idea that was a bit much, so obviously they’re not like, insensitive…
The ads were designed by the New York ad agency DeVito/Verdi, which vetoed one idea as too crass: “This trolley is a lot like your mother. Anyone with a couple of bucks can get a ride.”
“So it’s not like we’re insensitive,” said Ellis Verdi, president of the agency.
Seems like they rejected the only funny one.