Blogs Get Whited-Out by Bic

The Ad-Rag advertising blog got white-out slathered on it for posting unauthorized Bic ads.

After posting the mockups, the TBWA ad agency and Bic demanded Ad-Rag remove the images advertising a certain brand of corrective fluid. Furthermore, they required the blog to scrub out all mentions of a trademarked brand name from all the posts and even the comments. Full info here at Ad-Rag.

More of the offending images which you should steal and spread around the net before we’re sued, after the jump…

Creatives will often mock up ads “on spec,” that is, speculatively and without being in a client’s pay, to try out ideas or demonstrate their skills. Here are three such ads exploring what would happen if we used White-Out on important historical events.



As commentors and Bic and TBWA later pointed out, this isn’t really on-brand for Bic. Ads these days often dramatize one singular product benefit.



What’s the benefit here? That white-out type products are good for censorship?



While visually dramatic and certainly shocking, the ads fail to communicate the product’s real power. But we don’t think Bic should be so heavy-handed in silencing the fine advertising blog, Ad-Rag.

Perversely, gagging Ad-Rag enacts the very anti-free-speech associations Bic feared the spec ads created.

(Thanks to Klaus!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Papercutninja says:

    Those ads are brilliant. Provacative, political, historical. But only brilliant in theory. I love them though.

  2. spinachdip says:

    Yeah, it’s a bit heavy handed, but I can’t blame the agency for getting upset about it.

    Besides being terrible and never having a remote chance of running as real ads, they were for internal use only and were never meant to see the light of day. Whoever posted it should get at least a severe spanking – leaking internal spec work is a serious no-no.

    Of course, besides the free speech thing, creating a fuss about it brought more attention to the naughty spec work than otherwise. Seems they should’ve simply asked for a simple cease & desist and left it at that.

  3. Coincidentally I posted about the same correctional fluid as toothpaste this morning, AND included an image.

    In lieu of this news, maybe I should redact my lame post and distance myself by replacing it with a Paper Mate® Liquid Paper® reference instead.

  4. Dabitch says:

    Hubert Sorbet, what a nice syncronicity – and fool-proof murder plan. ;9

    I don’t think the agency can be blamed for trying to calm their client down, hoever teh client needs to learn that asking for things to be removed is the wrong thing to do [tm] – clearly.

  5. Dabitch says:

    help, I can’t stop spelling it “teh”.