Federal Express television commercials are absolutely, positively noted for humor. They feature incompetent relatives rising to the top, high-speed executives telling Peter that Pittsburgh is Perfect and senile chief executive officers who can't remember the word federal. But a new one, prepared by the New York ad agency of Ally & Gargano, features two rude, lazy postal workers chewing the fat while a customer all but dies of old age at the window. The U.S. Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union are not amused.
"I cannot believe," Postmaster General William F. Bolger wrote to Federal Express President Fred Smith, "you condone a commercial that insults the integrity of some 670,000 postal employes, the overwhelming majority of whom are diligent, courteous and efficient." Moe Biller, general president of the postal workers union, has written the networks complaining about the commercials. "It is unfair, malicious and belittles every person who labors as a postal worker," Biller said.
The cycle for which this particular commercial was made was scheduled to end Sunday, a Federal Express spokesman said, but it could appear again in the future. "I don't think any company wants to hurt an individual," he said, "The intention was to point at the institution."