A half-naked woman caused serious anxiety at the Los Angeles Times last week.
She wore nothing but black panties and a shirt unbuttoned in such a way as to reveal nearly every bit of her assets but for a strategically draped necktie. At her feet, a blindfolded man bound with a phone cord seemed to be at her mercy.
It was an ad for “Let’s Kill All the Lawyers,” an indie pic written, produced and directed by Ron Senkowski satirizing the legal profession. But the Times refused to run the ad as submitted.
While ads for the picture ran in their natural state in the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune for the pic’s premiere in the more conservative Midwest, alterations were ordered by an L.A. Times standards committee, which as a matter of policy protects its readers from imagery involving guns or scantily clad ladies.
Martin Fine, a Gotham attorney and film biz newcomer whose Barrister Films is distributing the picture, was not happy. First he’d had to pay for the model to take her clothes off. Now he had to shell out extra bucks to Gotham movie art agency Arnie Sawyer Prods. to cover her up.
“They forced me to get a digital artist and put a bathing suit on her,” he groused. “And in the same paper they’ve got women advertising lingerie for Macy’s that are wearing less than the girl in my ad!”
“There are no specific guidelines,” responded Jerry Bluestein of the Times’ department of advertising standards. “It’s simply a matter of taste. We’re a family newspaper.”