by Judith Acosta
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…I was a Madison Avenue copywriter. I was thrilled, until I realized I was a liar for hire.
I was assigned an ad for a diet aid. The account executive sent out the marketing strategy. When I read it, I felt something akin to an inner eye squint, the feeling you get when you suspect you’re being conned. I realized we were being asked to market this rather dubious product to young, anorexic women by capitalizing on their already-fragile sense of self and lying to them about what the product could be expected to do.
So I wrote the ad that changed my life. It featured a close-up of the product with the headline “FAT CHANCE.” I was the only one who appreciated the irony.
I soon realized that in the sport of marketing (sic: lying) I’d never be a team player and that I’d have to find an honest way to make a living.