Thursday, October 16, 2014

JWT Greece mocks domestic violence victims in mattress ads

Via Ads Of The World

It's a bad year for mattress ads. First there was the appalling Malala Yousafzai one from India. Now it's a Greek campaign that makes light of domestic abuse.

Appearing on Ads Of The World, this campaign by JWT Spot Athens, carries the body copy "Don't let your mattress abuse you. Ask for help at Dimstel."

Considering that the campaign uses stock photography, it may be yet another example of vanity ads that only appear online. But if this is the way Creatives Alexandros Tsoutis, Alexis Alifragis and James Karolos want to get their names known, they clearly lack as much common sense as sensitivity.

According to Greek Reporter, one in three women in Greece is a victim of domestic violence.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Montreal cinema owner inflames Twitter with "Hockey Widow" promo

If there's one Canadian stereotype that has a strong basis in reality, it's not weird pronunciations of "out" or niceness — it's an obsession with hockey. The game is deeply rooted in our culture. While not every Canadian is a hockey fanatic, it's safer to assume a Canadian has a favourite hockey team than a favourite type of poutine.

Which makes it all the more baffling that a cinema chain in Montreal, "the Mecca of Hockey," would so casually insult female Habs fans by running a women-only promotion for "Hockey Widows" on game nights.

The CBC has compiled a collection of Tweets about the issue, including cinema owner Vincenzo Guzzo's defensive non-apologies.

Oh well. Canada's women's national ice hockey team has won gold in the past four Olympics, and is one of the winningest teams in history. So I guess it will take more than a sexist local cinema promotion to turn Canadian women away from the game.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

PornHub's "SFW" billboard removed from Times Square

PornHub, the internet sexual content provider recently known for dabbling in music, managed to score an earned media hit by getting their new billboard forcibly removed from Times Square, NYC, within 24 hours.

Gothamist writes, "though an advertisement for a porn site would have fit in on 42nd Street a mere 20 or so years ago, the city's long since swapped out the peep shows for a Ripley's Believe It Or Not, and sadly, Pornhub's billboard was removed only hours after its first appearance. We can't have anything fun anymore."

Apparently, a neighbouring hotel managed to get the billboard yanked (so to speak).

Seems like a silly controversy to me, considering competing porn site Brazzers had a rather saucy "get rubber" billboard up there four years ago, complete with sexualized models.

You could say that the PornHub billboard was promoting even safer sex... at least for the viewer.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

You mean the #pinkwashing drill bits WEREN'T a hoax?

Look, we've all been burned by internet hoaxes. So when something seems too ridiculous to be true, we can only assume it's someone's idea of a joke.

That's what I assumed when I saw this #doingourbit pinkwashing campaign trending. It's a about a drilling services company that is distributing pink drill bits to customers to "raise awareness" about breast cancer.

From EcoWatch:
Susan G. Komen, the largest breast cancer organization in America with more than 100,000 volunteers and partnerships in more than 50 countries, has teamed up with Baker Hughes, one of the world’s largest oilfield service companies with employees in more than 80 countries. Susan G. Komen hands out pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness, and Baker Hughes fracks. So, there you have it: a pink, fracking, drill head.
The post goes on to talk about how fracking causes cancer. Here's some more info on that.

I was still skeptical, so I went to the Baker-Hughes site. Here's their press release:
Last October, during National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Baker Hughes distributed 500 pink drill bits to customers as part of its "Doing Our Bit for the Cure" campaign. This year, the company will paint and distribute a total of 1,000 pink drill bits worldwide. The pink bits serve as a reminder of the importance of supporting research, treatment, screening, and education to help find the cures for this disease, which claims a life every 60 seconds.
And here's their page at Komen.

And here is an actual quote from an industry magazine:
“Our hope is from the water cooler to the rig site to the coffee shop to everywhere, someone gets this information to their spouses, their girlfriends, their daughters so we can create awareness and end this disease forever,” said Bill Debo, director of operations for U.S. land drill bits at Baker Hughes.
Still rubbing my eyes in disbelief, I have Tweeted at both parties asking for confirmation. But in this case, it seems that the truth of pinkwashing is stranger than fiction.

JC Penney creates a truly clueless breast cancer awareness ad

What is this, even? Fumbled CSR? Trivialization of cancer? Terrible brand pun? Photoshop Disaster?

It's all that, and more.

Digiday's Joanna Franchini writes:
Someone please save JCPenney from itself: the company’s latest ad campaign, rolled out in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, is a painful mess of mixed brand messaging, inadvertent sexism and cultural tone-deafness. 
The long hierarchy of people who approved this ad believed it was cool or clever to conflate pennies and breasts, making light of the nightmares of breast screening, lumpectomy, mastectomy and breast reconstruction. Very uncool and way, way out of touch.
While JC Penney is taking PR lumps over this ad (which appeared in People magazine), I feel really bad for the woman featured. She's trying to do something good for a cause that is really close to her (far too close!) and now she suffers embarrassment at the hands of bad advertisers.