Litter Ads Have People Talking

Some call them the "I'm not your Mama ads". One particular spot, features two rather unkempt men tossing some litter out of their pickup truck, only to be scolded by former First Lady Pat Fordice.

  The former first lady tells them, ''Did you throw that out the window, do you throw things out your window at home, go back and pick it up, I want all that picked up, I am not your Mama."

Critics have said, by portraying those doing the littering in such an unfavorable light, the ads re-inforce a negative stereotype of who Mississippians are. The ads are the brainchild of the Godwin Advertising agency. Creative services director, Todd Ballard defends the ads. Ballard says, "We don't expect everyone to like every spot, but, as long as they react to them and think about them, and remember that litter is an issue, that is what we are trying to do."

If success is measured by how many people remember that ad, they are working. Several people we spoke with on the streets of Gulfport today told us they like the ads and think they will be effective. Only one person said she is slightly offended by the insinuation that Mississippians are ignorant and stupid people.

Whether you like them or not, the ads will be around for a while. This is just the first phase of three. Phase two should begin in about three weeks, Pat Fordice will be back, and hopefully, so will hear soon to be famous line, ''I'm not your Momma."