Today’s Boston Globe features this story Metro Page One:
Cable TV ad campaign seeks to discourage the rogue fashion
If there is a look that defines hip-hop, then 13-year-old David Dollar Montana has it. He talks the talk, walks the walk, even dresses the part — down to his loose-fitting Levi’s, which sag below his buttocks, exposing his underwear.
Now Dollar, as he is known around his Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood, and other young males who let their jeans hang below their waist are the target audience for a new cable TV ad campaign that aims to get them to pull up their sagging pants or face fines or prison time.
In the ad, an actor dressed in police uniform looks sternly at the camera and warns: “It’s the law.”
The Black Mental Health Alliance of Massachusetts, which launched the public service announcement in January, said that sagging is an obscene offense and an assault on common decency in the African-American community. It adds that sagging heightens thug-like behavior and contributes to how young men are perceived and treated by police, teachers, and other adults. “The PSA says respect yourself and respect your community,’’ said Omar Reid, a 54-year-old education psychologist from Grove Hall who is helping to lead the ad campaign. “Our community and our people are tired of these kids walking around like this.”
First things first: The hardworking staff (and The Atlantic and Mediaite) had this story weeks ago.
And two: This is a Potemkin ad campaign with virtually nothing behind it except a desire to get press coverage. (See the video here.)
It started out with a press release claiming the ad was “running on major television outlets in the Boston market,” but never specified which ones (the hardworking staff had several phone calls seeking specifics go unreturned). Now the Globe reports this:
Reid said the alliance launched the campaign after mental health clinics across the state were being besieged by parents who brought their sons in for behavioral treatment. The sons were skipping school, smoking marijuana, and acting thuggish — conduct the parents attribute to the saggy pants, Reid said.
He said the alliance is paying $2,000 a month for the ads and will soon expand the campaign.
Not sure we believe the first statement, and would like to see some paperwork backing up the latter. Plus, the broadcast outlets remain unspecified.
One last thing: The hardworking staff will win a Pulitzer before anyone is either fined or jailed for wearing saggy pants. That you can believe.