January 9th, 2008

A Little Detective Work

By Marc

preserv_sensitive.gifJohnson & Johnson is a large, broadly-based company. So big, in fact, that when I started here, I’d often come across products, businesses or initiatives that I had no idea our operating companies were involved in. Heck, ten years on, I still get surprised.

So for many questions that come my way, I have to do some digging to get an answer. But since this highly decentralized company is constantly changing, it can take a bit of know-how and time to get to the bottom of things — and so I often feel like a detective as I try to find my way to the people who may be in the know.

My latest case started last week…

Now I know condom advertising can be edgy, but when I saw a post on BrandWeek NRx about a guerilla marketing campaign for Jontex (a condom our Johnson & Johnson Brazil business sells) that involved an image pasted beneath the door of a bathroom stall of two pairs of legs, suggestively entwined, something didn’t feel quite right. jontex-guerilla.jpg

So I put on my gumshoes and hit those mean streets to see if the story checked out.

You know what? By talking to some people at the Johnson & Johnson operating company in Brazil I discovered that the “ad” (which you can see here to the right) was not one of theirs, and was in fact a hoax.

My guess is that someone in Brazil developed these fake ads in an attempt to poke fun at the often racy nature of the advertising for prophylatics. I’m still trying to find out where they originated, but a couple of blogs in Brazil (here and here) have published posts on these ads, believing them to be authentic.

Ahh… sometimes fact is NOT as interesting as fiction — but I’m still amazed at how little jokes like this one take on a life of their own and spread throughout the world.

Just thought I’d set the record straight.

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