Fenton Comm. for Animal Legal Defense Fund

Each week, The Examiner showcases an advertising campaign by a local company.

Client: Animal Legal Defense Fund

Job: Increase online membership by highlighting a lawsuit against a dairy ranch. The campaign was paid for by a grant.

Agency: Fenton Communications, San Francisco

Managing director: Parker Blackman

Other Fenton clients: Human Rights Watch, Equality California, UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, The James Irvine Foundation, River Partners, Education Trust West

Creative team: Mike Smith, vice president; Joy Engel, online account executive; Emily Dulcan and Keli Goff, media relations; Kien Tseng, designer

The plan: Bring consumer attention to the dairy industry’s practice of taking calves from their mothers after birth and housing them miles away in cramped crates.

The theme: “Free Baby Mendes”

The concept: An online and college campus campaign launching during the World Dairy Expo that reveals the practice, footage of the calves’ confinement, and dairy corporations who get their calves from Mendes Calf Ranch. More than 20,000 consumers have signed letters of protest, thanks in part to outreach to ally groups and blogs.

Mike Smith

Age: 32

Position: Vice president

Education/background: Colorado College (English/journalism)

What drove your development of the concept? To be catchy, we played off the common pop-culture slogans of “Free [fill-in-the-blank].” Images (real and described) of the calves and their conditions were key.

Working on next: A campaign for “green-collar” jobs for Green For All, a new Oakland organization working to lift people out of poverty through green economy jobs. And “Think Outside the Bottle,” Corporate Accountability International’s successful and ongoing campaign to challenge the corporate control of water.

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