NO EXCUSES’ HIGH ROAD

Byline: LISA LOCKWOOD

NEW YORK — No Excuses will spend close to $2 million this fall on an antiviolence ad campaign that will run in several teen and women’s magazines, as well as outdoors.
The sportswear company, which was purchased in January 1993 by Bobby Reiss, a former owner of the P.S. Gitano division of The Gitano Group, decided it wanted to take a totally different approach from its previous campaigns, which were “exploitive” and resembled “a scandal sheet,” said John Amodeo, a partner in Amodeo Petti, No Excuses’ ad agency.
Earlier No Excuses campaigns featured such notables as Donna Rice, Marla Maples, Monica Seles and Joan Rivers. This one will be known as the “No Excuses for Violence” campaign.
“We spent a lot of time researching the youth market and found that violence is one of the primary issues affecting [this group],” said Amodeo. “That led us to develop this campaign.”
Ken Petti wrote copy about violence that appears on top of the ads, which feature model Joy Rich in No Excuses sportswear sitting on top of a TV set. Petti claims teens are inundated with violence on TV.
The campaign will break in September in Seventeen, Quake, Tell, In Fashion, Mouth 2 Mouth, Elle, Marie Claire, YM and Mademoiselle. It will also appear on bus shelters and telephone kiosks in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami.
In addition to its ad campaign, No Excuses will give out a $50,000 “Alive and Uncensored” award to people who have received a lot of media attention for speaking out “on an issue of substance and concern,” said Petti.
As reported, Paula Corbin Jones was the first recipient of the award, which stipulates that half the money goes to an antiviolence organization and the other half to an organization of the recipient’s choice.
“One of the successes of No Excuses has been the scandal involvement,” said Amodeo. “We recommended against it for the ad campaign, but the retailers have continuously asked, ‘When is the next No Excuses girl coming up?’ “
Amodeo said they had expected to give the award to Nancy Kerrigan, but couldn’t once Nike signed her up. “We were on the line to come up with another person,” said Amodeo. “Whether she [Jones] is right or wrong, we’re not saying. We needed someone to fill in for Nancy Kerrigan. Going forward, we’ll try to find people who are in no way exploitive — women out doing something positive. We feel Paula Corbin Jones is doing something positive for women. There’s an added notoriety we couldn’t help. Going forward, we’ll find someone without that notoriety attached.”
No Excuses makes jeans, tops, jackets and knits for mass merchandisers.

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