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Monday, January 12, 2004

Recycled Advertising

When the Atlanta Ballet decided against using a television commercial that Sawyer Riley Compton created for the organization, the agency sold it to a technical college in Wyoming.

Sawyer Riley Compton is one of 350 agencies nationwide using the services of Thought Equity Management Inc. of Denver. Thought Equity collects unused advertising and markets it to companies that can't afford to hire advertising agencies to produce original material for them.

The agency strips all references to the original client and replaces it with references to the client who buys the material. Sawyer Riley Compton created the television commercial pro bono for the Atlanta Ballet, which wanted to reach the 18- to 24-year-old market. It featured two college-aged kids Kung Fu fighting in slow motion in their living room with the tag line, "Too much time on your hands? Go to the ballet."

The ballet's executive staff approved the commercials, and they ran a few times before the ballet's board of directors decided the approach was a bit too racy for the organization and pulled the ads. Sawyer Riley Compton submitted the material to Thought Equity, which sold the commercials to Wyoming Technical Institute in Laramie, Wyoming.

Most of the money Wyoming Tech paid for the commercial was returned to the Atlanta Ballet to reimburse the organization for the cost of producing the ads, according to Bart Cleveland, Sawyer Riley Compton's creative director.


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