Sunday, July 24, 2016

David Duke: From KKK to intellectual property theft

You've probably heard the news that David Duke, former "Grand Wizard" of the racist KKK, is running for United States Senate. He's promising to "defend the rights of European Americans."

One of the many meme-ish campaign posters he's sharing on social media is this one, which Lisa Wade of Sociological Images pointed out looks rather... ummm...

Aside from that, the photo appears to have been stolen from the portfolio of Dutch model Romy van de Laar. Signed to Elite Model Management, Ms. van de Laar was photographed in this shot in 2012 or before, as far as I can tell from the many fashion blogs (and creepy tumblrs) the shot appears in. Now 20, she must have been 15 or 16 at the time.

Tweeter @joshuacomer also tracked down the model's identity through a reverse image search, and says he has reported the presumably-unauthorized use to Elite.

So to summarize: David Duke, a venomously racist white nationalist, is running for high office in the United States. I suppose stealing a picture of a teenage girl to further his evil agenda isn't the worst thing he's ever done, but it's pretty despicable.

Oh yeah, and Donald Trump seems to like him.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

#canneslions bronze winner for Bayer makes fun of consent

I first saw this ad on Twitter, shared by marketer Cindy Gallop, with the comment "Don't use this to sell aspirin, male-dominated ad industry, & don't award it, male-dominated juries. #canneslions"

Seriously. I'm a male Creative Director in this industry, and I think it's awful.

The ad is part of a series by AlmapBBDO of Brazil for Bayer. It won a Bronze Lion at Cannes 2016 in the Outdoor category.

The other two in the winning entry were a little less explicit:

These are part of a over-arching campaign that describes situations that might give the listener/victim a headache. They play all kinds of stereotypes about ex-wives and protective fathers, and are mostly harmless.

But not "'Don't worry, babe, I'm not filming this'.mov"

I see a lot of regressive ads coming out of Brazil, and I'm used to a certain kind of humour in them. But this one, translated into English for an international awards show, is really bad timing for a joke about non-consensual filming of sex.

Yeah, yeah. Call me an "SJW" if you want. But I'm trying to raise a son into a man who doesn't exploit and abuse women. The idea of filming and possibly sharing an intimate sex tape of a woman without her consent is just not funny anymore. It's the kind of bro-attitude that we should be denormalizing, rather than normalizing, along with jokes about other kinds of sexual violation.

Bayer, BBDO, and Cannes should do better than this. It's 20-effing-16.

UPDATE: Cindy Gallop added, via Facebook, some further context as to why this ad's timing is so bad.

UPDATE 2: Adweek reports that BBDO global creative chief David Lubars, who stated: "I learned last night that one of our very own agencies had a pretty scammy ad in the festival, and it won a Lion, I told them to return it. Because I don't want that kind of Lion. BBDO doesn't want that kind of Lion."

It turned out that the sexism was one thing, but what the global ad giant couldn't stand was that AlmapBBDO had paid for their own media placement. Even though Bayer had signed off on the ad, the agency paying to make it official is against the rules.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Grey Singapore wins Bronze Lion for failed App

Well, isn't that awkward.

ADWEEK reports that Grey For good Singapore's I SEA App, intended to use "the power of crowdsourcing to monitor the vast sea and make an impossible task possible" has been removed from Apple's iTunes a few hours before it won a Bronze Lion at Cannes.

To add insult to injury, the "client," Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAT) denies that they had anything to do with it, stating, "All we can say on the developers' behalf is that the app probably sounded interesting in concept form but failed miserably in execution. We were asked to support the launch of the app in concept only. So we were included in a press release."
The App was supposed to assign a square of Mediterranean Sea to each of an assumed thousands of observers, who would opt-in to keep an eye on the water via live satellite feed, then report any suspected migrant boats to MOAT for possible rescue.

But, according to ADWEEK, "...various tech outlets downloaded and tried to use the app and found that it was not functional. The primary issue concerned a GPS feature which promised to provide real-time screenshots of areas in the Mediterranean Sea where migrant vessels might be located but did not appear to work."
Tech blogger @SwiftOnSecurity called the app out as "fake" and stated, via several Tweets:

"Tried it, the app is completely non-functional. It's a marketing stunt for the developer to get press articles.
The point of the articles isn't even to get people to use the app, it's to make readers feel better that other people are doing something.
Someone who DM'd me familiar with international advertising thinks this was an in-progress intern proof-of-concept they pushed as finished.
HOWEVER, it does not explain how the "I Sea" app ever hoped to get high-resolution, near-real-time satellite imagery of entire Mediterranean.
Nor does it explain the entire concept of how laypersons are supposed to identify stranded refugee boats from old blurry satellite imagery.
Note that I intuitively knew this app was fake within 20 seconds of using it. It screams unfinished interface mock-up, doesn't act right."
Incredible. Cannes has a bad reputation for awarding lions to "fake" campaigns, but this one is a special kind of fail.
ADWEEK has still not heard back from the Cannes Lions' PR department.

Cross-published on Osocio

Monday, June 13, 2016

Father's Day ad suggests daughters give Dad "a threesome"

A friend received this by e-mail and sent it with the comment, "Thought you might appreciate the insane inappropriateness of this spam email I received. Can't imagine how someone thought this was a good idea.

I love that this offer is for "ethical" coffee.

I haven't seen any "gift" ideas for dads this twisted since Genesis 19:36...

Monday, June 6, 2016

Should a media company refuse one party's political ads?

BuzzFeed certainly has its faults, but on the upside it can occasionally surprise you. Maybe it's the occasional hit of well-written hard news, or a cartoonist giving Disney princesses their viscera back. Or in this case, banning an advertiser for its politics.

That's what just happened:
“Earlier today, BuzzFeed informed the RNC that we would not accept Trump for President ads and that we would be terminating our agreement with them,” [BuzzFeed CEO Jonah] Peretti said. “The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.”

Mr. Peretti went on to compare the ad ban to banning cigarette ads as "hazardous to our health."

But what is this, really? It comes off as principled, but it can also be seen as grandstanding. Banning ads based on the advertiser's politics, sight unseen, could also raise questions about media ethics.

But here's another point of view, expressed by a PR professional named Eliot Harrison in the comments:
If Trump's campaign has shown anything, it's that he hasn't needed advertising. He's getting millions of free advertising through the 100's of articles and stories written about him. THIS article is yet another one that will only serve to embolden his supporters.
Hmm... The man has a point. And since I am only adding to the problem here, perhaps I should stop writing now.

What's your take on this?