WAVA-FM's (105.1) current television commercial -- in which a woman breathlessly touts the station as having "the biggest hits" -- hasn't caused any stir among its listeners, according to the station.
Introduced two weeks ago, the commercial was designed to "desensitize" any suggestion of sexism while drumming home the station's new motto. "With any number of stations saying 'hits,' 'the hottest hits,' 'hot hits,' 'the newest hits,' we needed to come up with a statement that we play the biggest hits," says Alan Goodman, the regional vice president for Doubleday, which owns WAVA. "We wanted to make sure the perception of the spot was not something else. I was very concerned that it might be seen as sexist. We purposely selected someone who was not well endowed. We went as far as our imagination and creativity will allow us to go to deemphasize any wrong impression with our female listeners."
But as the woman in the commercial asks, "Who's got the biggest hits in town?" she does pause conspicuously between "biggest" and "hits." Goodman explains: "She does pause, because we didn't want 'biggest' to run into 'hits' and sound like something else." He says the station has received two telephone complaints and one letter from women who objected to the spot. On Sunday, to prove that the station didn't have any sexist intentions, Goodman says, it is introducing an ad with a muscular man and a female companion, uttering the same line.