Editorial: Ad parody not good for either side

Fans of WRZX-FM (Indianapolis' X-103) have grown accustomed to hearing modern bands with names such as Kid Third Matchbox Mary Three Creed Bizkit Ant Farm 27 interrupted by savvy, MTV-generation personalities, mainly because that kind of thing has been deemed cool.

Continuing the relentless pursuit of unattainable coolness, X-103 disc jockey Adam Ritz assembled a parody of the often-heard Ball State University "Day in the Life" radio commercial. The ad contains sounds of popcorn popping, note-taking and lecturing to illustrate a typical Ball State day.

In Ritz's parody, which is no doubt amusing to a portion of X-103's target market, he uses sounds of bodily functions. Though Ball State is not mentioned, the parody is clear. This has outraged university officials and the advertising firm that created the ad -- to the point that the Ball State commercials were pulled from the air.

This isn't about the law. This is about bad business. Selling commercial time is X-103's lifeblood, just as attracting students is Ball State's. In this case, we don't blame Ball State for not taking the joke very well, but we question Ball State's reaction, which has eliminated a channel for reaching a very vital target market.

Neither side wins here.


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