Mobile, AL – An Onion story angered a marketing firm in Alabama, but their response didn’t serve as a comeback so much as it inadvertently proved the publication’s original point.
Mobile’s Red Square Agency decided to declare war on The Onion after they published a story titled “PR firm advises US to cut ties with Alabama,” which you can read by clicking on the link.
Of course, it’s never wise to pick a fight with The Onion. The social satire outfit always comes out on top, mostly because, if nothing else, they can fall back on “it’s a satire website” and make their opponents look silly for taking it so seriously, but also because their opponents oftentimes accidentally prove their original point.
In response to The Onion‘s contention that Alabama would best serve the US by seceding, laying out made-up statistics suggesting that most people associate the state with “teen pregnancy,” “racism,” and “obesity,” to prove their point, Rich Sullivan, Red Square’s chief executive officer and executive creative director, didn’t seem to get the joke, notes MSN.
“We were just surprised to see a decades-old joke on the front page of The Onion,” he told Al.com. “This is the newspaper that gave us such unforgettable headlines as ‘CIA realizes it’s been using black highlighters all these years,’ ‘Osprey devours lion in massive food-chain shake-up’ and ‘Wealthy teen nearly experiences consequence,’” he concluded.
And his point is what exactly? That Alabama’s stereotypes amount to a “decades old joke” and are “unoriginal?” Well yeah, that’s part of the joke.
Still, Sullivan says that he “expected better” out of The Onion, and opined that their Alabama story shows how downhill the publication has gone. “We just got to talking about how lazy it was, but still, you just can’t let them say that kind of stuff.”
“Part of our whole purpose in what we do is to try and change people’s minds about what kind of thinking happens in this state, so if we don’t stand up for Alabama, who’s going to do it?” he said.
What do you think? Who has won the battle between The Onion and Alabama’s Red Square Agency?