Controversial Advert in Lucerna Passage Features Dying Flies

An ad for the newly opened David Cronenberg exhibit at Prague City Gallery raised some eyebrows last week

A retrospective of Canadian filmmaker and auteur David Cronenberg at Prague City Gallery’s Stone Bell House, which opened last week, has attracted some unwanted publicity for its unusual advertisting display.

Lidovky first reported on the glass-encased film poster, located in the Lucerna arcade, that featured hundreds of live, slowly dying, flies in an effort to promote the director of films such as “The Fly”, “A History of Violence”, and “Eastern Promises”.

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Installed near the box office of Kino Lucerna, the vivid orange presentation used miniscule adhesive dots to glue the flies to the poster in “Cronenberg” formation, replicating the show’s fly-specked signage with real insects.

Photo: Facebook / Ogilvy & Mather FB
Photo: Facebook / Ogilvy & Mather FB

A poll of Lidovky readers showed an overwhelming 1,100 readers found the treatment of live creatures disturbing as compared to 294 people who said “they’re just flies”.

A musuem rep said that the ad was intended to run for just three days prior to the opening of the show; Prague-based agency Ogilvy & Mather, creators of the ad, said that fishing-bait flies that are hatched in captivity were used.

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But an entomologist even weighed in speculating that the flies, who could live for up to two days behind the glass encasement, likely felt pain, and therefore the publicity stunt wasn’t exactly cruelty-free.

If you missed the live-fly spectacle and aren’t too offended to attend, Cronenberg: Evolution is on now through July.

Did you manage to catch the Cronenberg ad at Lucerna? Thoughts?

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