Peter Arnell has re-emerged from advertising exile as the marketing and communications chief at GNC. His re-appearance in the business will be closely watched due to the way he flamed out in 2011.Holding company Omnicom fired him from the shop he founded, Arnell Group, after a string of bizarre incidences seemingly driven by his insatiable need for publicity.
He was crowned one of New York’s worst bosses by Gawker. He designed an electric car for Chrysler that the company declined to produce. He wrote a book describing how he eats 50 oranges a day. PepsiCo reversed his redesign of the Tropicana orange juice box after consumers complained. And a document describing his redesign of the Pepsi can — linking it to the Mona Lisa, Decartes and Hinduism — was widely mocked. He sued Omnicom, and settled, accusing the company of keeping his personal property in his old office.
Here are the new ads he’s made for GNC. (You can see two more here.) They all revolve around sharp black and white photography of hot, chiseled gym-goers, coupled with inspirational messages from old people and children about respecting yourself and staying young.It’s not clear whether Arnell is back on his own as a director and producer, or whether he has an agency. But Ad Age notes that GNC no longer works with McKinney, the shop that replaced Arnell Group on the business.
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