The Issue: Legal Sea Foods owner Roger Berkowitz says he’s sorry for the “fresh fish” ad campaign on the MBTA that offended train operators in Boston (get it…”fresh” as in, wise-ass, not recently-caught). Stephan MacDougall, a union rep for MBTA operators, said Berkowitz is an elitist and insensitive. He said he’s organizing a boycott of Legal Sea Foods. The ads feature “fresh” wisecracking cartoon fish that deliver lines such as: “Hey lady, I’ve seen smaller noses on a swordfish,” “This trolley gets around more than your sister,” and “This conductor has a face like a halibut.”
- Here we have the latest example – among an untold number – of a group of people pulling the plug on common sense in the name of “taking offense” to something.
- The ads are harmless, mildly amusing, clearly tongue-in-cheek, and I, like Roger Berkowitz, cannot fathom how anyone would honestly be insulted by them.
- Stephan G. MacDougall is a stooge.
- I have a great excuse to show my support by splurging on an awesome dinner at Legal this weekend.
More Details: This week, after the trolley conductors union complained to T management, the agency’s top brass ordered the immediate removal of the “this conductor” ads, deeming them in poor taste. “To say they are angered and offended is to put it lightly,” MacDougall said. “I will tell you this: If they don’t come down, we will not drive those trains.”
Proofs of the ads were sent to the T’s advertising contractor, Titan, which approved them earlier this year. Ads went up on 25 Green Line trolleys on May 20 and were scheduled to run through mid July. T officials said they have not received complaints from riders.
Boston Globe article.