Holy CRAAAP!

What a load of CRAAAP. The Gomery inquiry, that is. Or so says 'Laird McRae,' the angry alter ego of Wayne Roberts, president and CD at Blade Creative Branding in Toronto.

What a load of CRAAAP. The Gomery inquiry, that is. Or so says ‘Laird McRae,’ the angry alter ego of Wayne Roberts, president and CD at Blade Creative Branding in Toronto.

‘We’re absolutely screwed if this mook doesn’t knock if off right now,’ McRae proclaimed in a May 13 press release announcing the formation of Canadians for the Restoration of Advertising Agency Anonymity and Privacy (CRAAAP), whose mandate is to get ad execs out of the spotlight and back into the shadows where they belong. ‘For the love of god, nobody wants to see these tubby, cigarette puffing, coffee-swilling, fiftysomethings squirming at being forced to tell the truth! That’s not what we do, dammit!’

Roberts found it curious that nobody in the ad business was addressing the Gomery inquiry, so he decided to step up and make light of the PR nightmare himself by launching the satirical CRAAAP. ‘I want people to say: ‘Hey, Creative Branding is a bunch of clever guys,” explains Roberts. ‘We can turn even something like this into something funny.’

So far, Roberts’ little publicity stunt has scored him coverage in the Globe and Mail and on CBC Radio. Most recently, CRAAAP launched the National Anonymity Awareness Program (NAAP), which will be supported by blank screen TV spots, silent radio PSAs and empty billboards. The tagline? ‘Step forward into the background. Be vocal in your silence.’

Roberts hoped the sassy acronym would be a good clue that CRAAAP shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But, apparently it was too subtle for some: He got a phone call from a man hoping for a job at CRAAAP. ‘I just felt like an ass when I had to tell him it wasn’t real,’ says Roberts.

Past pranks masterminded by Creative Branding include outdoor ads for fake products like ‘thought cream’ and ‘can answers.’