Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2000]
John Hancock, the insurance company, has done a very courageous thing. They put together a series of commercials to be shown during the Olympics. They are pretty nontraditional and one of them shows
They aired this commercial during the gymnastics trials last week and the right wing went nuts and bombarded John
Please email them and have everyone you know do the same. Four TV stations said they wouldn't show it and Hancock stood up to them saying they wanted it in writing why they refused. They then all agreed to show it!
Here are the email directions: Go to: jhancock.com then click on "how to reach us" & the left menu bar where it says, "website feedback." Tell them you saw the
Thank you. Please pass this on!
Origins: The commercial as described in the appeal did run during National Gymnastics Championship in July 2000 and will run again throughout the 2000 Summer Olympics. John Hancock has no plans to drop it, however, hence the show of support called for is
This e-mailed appeal to show support for an endangered non-traditional commercial began circulating on the Internet in August 2000. While the core details as supplied in the missive are true (that such a commercial aired during the National Gymnastics Championship and will be shown again during the Olympics), the call to arms is an overreaction. John Hancock has no plans to kill the ad, nor has it so far encountered organized right wing protests against its theme. (Individuals, however, have made their voices heard by expressing their views, both pro and con, directly to the company. The reaction to the commercial thus far has been mixed.)
The controversial commercial is one of a set of four designed to stress the importance of financial planning by showcasing true-to-life situations:
- A man considers a nursing home for his father.
- A recently divorced couple struggle with personal issues.
- A single mother contemplates marriage.
- Two women adopt a baby from Asia.
Only one spot provokes reaction, as (contrary to what is claimed in the
A minor change refocusing the ad upon its central figure has been made to the dialogue of "Immigration," so those who viewed it in its initial run during the gymnastics trials may note a difference in it when they see it again during the Olympics. Initial consumer reaction showed viewers concentrating on the relationship between the adults instead of upon the child, necessitating the alteration.
According to a September 2000 John Hancock press release:
- The commercial is real.
- The danger of its being pulled is not.
Last updated: 30 November 2007
Gubernick, Lisa. "Fear About China's Reaction to Ad's Same-Sex Couple Prompts Firm to Edit Spot." The Wall Street Journal. 14 September 2000 (p. B1). Reidy, Chris. "Hancock Re-Edits Ad for Olympics." The Boston Globe. 13 September 2000.