By James Dowd
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Posted February 12, 2013 at 10:26 p.m., updated February 13, 2013 at 9:01 a.m.
A digital and print campaign launched last summer that showcases some successful Memphis College of Art alumni has drawn unflattering responses lately by online commenters who believe the marketing ploy disparages retail and service industry employees.
A recent discussion on Facebook, for example, took the college to task for what one poster deemed a “Very insulting” digital and print effort that reads in part, “Went to art school. Owns an ad agency. Never waited tables,” along with a photo of 1986 MCA graduate Gary Backaus, now a partner at advertising and public relations firm archer>malmo.
Another spot features a photo of Camilla Huey, a 1984 MCA graduate and now a couturier at House of Execution, with this pronouncement: “Went to art school. Designs for the red carpet. Never folded clothes at the mall.”
The ads were not intended to ruffle feelings, rather they were designed to showcase successful MCA students in hopes of attracting and inspiring new ones, said the school’s leader.
“This campaign is about spotlighting some of the great careers available after obtaining a degree in fine art, and we do so by featuring the stories of some of our own MCA alumni,” said MCA president Ron Jones. “This campaign is intended to bring attention to the value of arts education — to lift up the field and to exalt all MCA graduates. Whether fine art, finance or engineering, it is no doubt a desire for every graduating student to find success and fulfillment in their chosen field.”
To continue reading and see other examples of the MCA campaign, visit: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/feb/12/art-school-ad-campaign-hits-target-misses-mark/