Active Rain October 17, 2011

Dumb Ad, Take it Down

Let me preface this by saying I have no beef with the folks at DocuSign. They have an excellent product. This may not even be their doing, 

But it is now day III of “what are you thinking?” and I have yet to even get a response to an email I wrote them on the matter. Here’s the faux pas (with my own commentary added to the left), courtesy of Active Rain Ambassador Jo Soss:

Stupid ad

There are some things you don’t joke about. Cancer. The Holocaust. And I would characterize the phrase “Freedom isn’t Free” as one of those things best left untouched, especially if you are looking for a cute play on words for an ad campaign. The phrase is a direct reference to the cost, mainly in lives, we have paid to enjoy the free society we have. 

Many of us have been touched by the ravages of war. I am the son of a veteran of both World War II and Korea, and since Memorial day I have had a pro-bono offer for a needy vet in the footer of my blog. My father was in one piece but clearly had undiagnosed PTSD. He won a bronze star but could never talk about it. You might know someone who lost a leg. Or their hearing. Or their life. All in the name of our freedom. If you know me, I like to kid around and I am a hard guy to offend. But this is stupid, and after emailing the lady who is Docusign’s presence here on Saturday with no reply, I am dismayed every time this ad pops up. 

My hypothesis is that some young copywriter and distracted supervisor rushed this to the sidebar without asking many opinions. But for many who plant a flag on the memorial of a loved one who died overseas or deal with catastrophic disabilities, this is kind of stupid stuff to put out. I guess it went through the Active Rain filter too. No matter, we are bringing it to your attention, so at least answer us. NAR should pay better attention as well. If my name were on an ad I would check it out really thoroughly. 

Here’s a thought: take it down and replace it with something not quite so offensive , then we’ll call it a day. It is a good product whose time has come, it will only grow, so why piss people off.