Legal Sea Foods Stirs Sustainability Debate With New Ad Campaign

Restaurant Launches TV and Print Ads That Focus On the Hot-Button Issue

Sep 13, 2011, 14:34 ET from Legal Sea Foods

BOSTON, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A series of new television and print ads debuting next week from the famed Boston-based restaurant Legal Sea Foods may not sit well initially with some marine conservationists, as the humorous spots unconvincingly take both sides of the sustainability debate.  

But the intention of the new ad campaign is to encourage the public to better understand the complexity of the situation and make more informed decisions on what we should and should not eat.  The ad campaign, created by the New York advertising agency DeVito/Verdi, focuses on three types of fish – salmon, trout and crab – that enjoy ample stocks.

The print ads and television commercials mirror each other, with each one focusing on a specific fish and the need to "save" the species.  In one, we see a majestic salmon flying through the air as it makes its way upstream.  The voiceover and copy state: "Save the salmon.  Save it so our children can witness the grace and beauty of this noble fish.  Or, just save it so we can saute it with our fabulous lemon chive butter sauce."

Legal Sea Foods has long taken an active role in the sustainability debate, making strong arguments for the protection of both endangered fish and commercial fishermen.  Roger Berkowitz, president and CEO of Legal Sea Foods, stated that the objective of the ad campaign is to encourage a discussion on the topic and to open everyone's eyes to the nuances of the issue.

"We're passionate about sustainability, but we also feel the issue has been clouded by outdated and faulty data, and a reliance on simplistic dictums from groups that help turn the public against certain species of fish.  This campaign will hopefully facilitate an open dialogue and better understanding that seafood sustainability is not such a black and white issue," said Berkowitz.

The ad campaign focuses on three types of fish – salmon, trout and crab – that enjoy ample stocks.  

The print ad and commercial for the crab begins with a shot of a lone crab walking along the seashore.  The solemn copy reads: "Save the crab.  Save it to show that every creature is sacred, no matter how small.  Or, just save it so we can chop it up into tasty little crab cakes."

"Sure, people may jump to the conclusion that we're being flip about the topic, but it's quite the opposite.  This is a debate we need to have.  We need to constantly question where fish comes from and how it was caught and, moreover, demand more from those tasked with protecting the fish supply," said Berkowitz.


Legal Sea Foods was founded more than 60 years ago as a small fish market in Inman Square, Cambridge.  Today, President and CEO Roger Berkowitz leads the company toward continued growth and diversification. With more than 30 restaurants along the East Coast, Legal Sea Foods has earned scores of honors and awards (its Clam Chowder has been served at every presidential inaugural since 1981) and proudly carries its well-earned reputation as the nation's finest seafood restaurant. For more information about Legal Sea Foods and its locations, please visit

About DeVito/Verdi

DeVito/Verdi, a privately held company, has been recognized as one of the most exceptional creative agencies in the industry.  Its lengthy list of industry awards includes the top prizes at the Clios, Radio Mercury, Cannes, Andy, Addy and One Show award ceremonies.

DeVito/Verdi, which has been voted “Best Agency” six times over the last 12 years by the AAAA, has created some of the most memorable ad campaigns of the past 20 years. DeVito/Verdi strives for excellence and maintains a unique level of prestige within the advertising industry, as evidenced by its work for such clients as The National Association of Broadcasters, Sony, Canon, Kohl’s, BMW, Daffy's, Esquire Magazine, Men’s Wearhouse, TimeOut Magazine, Grey Goose Vodka, Duane Reade Drug Stores, EPCCigar Co., eCampus, SteinMart, Reebok,, Office Depot, Legal SeaFoods, Appleton Rums, Pepsi/SOBE, Corazon Tequila, North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System, Empire Kosher Chicken, Acura, CarMax, Sports Authority, For Eyes Optical and others.  For more information on DeVito/Verdi, visit

SOURCE Legal Sea Foods