JCDecaux sending live pigeons by mail as business gifts?

This simply has to be a joke. No fucking company is stupid enough to send live animals as business gifts.

Or if it ain't a joke, they're gonna suffer the worst public relations catastrophe in history. I mean, this is the same company that censored the advertisements of a local animal activist group.

Update: It's true. They did send carrier pigeons to people as "innovative direct marketing". However, they did have a trained person with the pigeons at all time, so no law was broken, and all the pigeons were let loose and returned to home unharmed. However, I can't just fathom who in their right mind okayed this idea: using live animals as gifts is a very, very bad idea. Animals are not gifts. Period.

An ad agency should be aware that marketing is about images, not facts. If your image suddenly becomes "those are the guys who send animals by mail", there is no amount of explaining that's going to turn it good.

Update2: The ad agency has been calling Pirkka, who's written a good summary of all the things he learned out of it. A very good read. And props to the ad agency as well for managing the thing properly.

(It could also be a ruse to direct everyone's attention away from the fact that we're getting a "stealth copyright law" next week - a law that declares making your own MP3s illegal (unless allowed by the copyright holder), takes away first sale rights, makes owning software or hardware meant for cracking illegal [so no more ebooks for you, blind people!], forbids organized discussion on hacking of copy protection, and forbids companies from importing manga from Japan without explicit permission. I call it a "stealth law" partly because there has been no public discussion about it, and partly because very few people really understand what it means.

Unfortunately the culture in Finland - and well, everywhere - is in a stage where if you criticize anything about copyright, you get a bunch of people screaming at you that "you just want to make everything free". Not so. But I just want that big corporations would stop telling me when and how I can listen to music, or read a book, or watch a movie. I don't want to copy all my music free off the internet: I want to give money to an artist I like. I want him to produce more music. What I don't want is him bursting into my apartment and say "Ahha! You have illegally ripped the CD I sold you to your MP3 player! You are taking money from my pockets, you thief!"

No sane artist would behave this way. They don't give a flying rat's ass as to where people listen to their music. They want everybody to listen to their music, so they become famous and can make more songs and more money, and get free beer from fans.

It's the big corporations that own the music that want to come into your apartment and micromanage your music habits. They want us to pay more money from the music we listen to, and they believe they should own the whole experience. They take music as "notes coming one note after another" when it should be "something to be loved, and cherished, and shared". And they lie to everyone, including the artists: "This will help you protect your copyright", they say and smile. But that's crap. Making it more difficult to find music, listen to music, and give music to your friends will only increase the bitterness of the music lovers. It makes "copyright" a dirty word, and it makes everybody a criminal, eventually. The big corporations will just use lots of money to sue small girls, and teenage boys, and grandmothers - money, which they could and should be giving directly to the artists.

And I also ask: if all private copying is now illegal, then why do we need the CD levies anymore? Some money from blank tape/CD/DVD sales already goes to the artists to compensate for this private copying - surely this will then be dropped? [Of course not. Ha.]

There are so many things wrong in this whole law. Read them all.)


Commenting on JCDecaux: As I posted the story first myself, I do have to say that I tried to get a comment from other sources than our client who told us this rather unbelievable story. I did get comments from my friends who work as reporters that they also got the story and were going to cover it. Hoping to get it all public, or to go in shame myself. :-)

--Pirkka, 08-Sep-2005

Well, it is so insane it might be true...

--JanneJalkanen, 08-Sep-2005

Unfortunately this seems to be true.

I got some extra information of the story from the ad agency who is behind the campaign (also comments to my blog). They explained their side of the story, but I still think that the whole idea of sending a pigeon (even though it is brought to you by a professional animal keeper and it is supposed to be freed right away) to a client, is an awful idea.

Especially from JCDecaux, when we all know what happened this summer.

--Pirkka, 09-Sep-2005

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