So, THIS exists.

What do I have against Facebook ads?

Oh, only shit like this:

rehtaeh-find-love

Isn’t Facebook wonderful, letting advertisers use people’s pictures to sell product without permission, much less a cut of the profits? And even more wonderful: They help dead girls find dates! Just a pity Rehtaeh Parsons didn’t live to take advantage of this invaluable service. She killed herself in April, and dates were probably the furthest thing from her troubled mind.

And yeah, my Social Fixer adblock software is staying put. I do NOT need to see things like this, even if I remain single for the rest of my life.

Stupid Sex Tricks: How NOT to advertise anything

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Stupid Sex Tricks: Oh no no!

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Safer sex: Good idea.

This ad: Not so hot.

Come on, people, Honey Boo Boo is not a natural disaster. Whatever’s wrong with her is a product of the environment she was raised in. And the sick, creepy, crazy world of child beauty pageants. Ain’t nothin’ natural in there.

But if you must use children as an ad for condoms, this one’s hard to beat:

Oh yeah: I guess I should warn you to crank your speakers WAY DOWN.

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The Koch Bros are getting desperate, I see.

When they have to take out ads for crapaganda sites like this, you know that Big Oil’s corrupting influence barons are running scared. And is that a tip of the hand as to which side of the recent election they were supporting? Betcha.

Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising’s Image of Women

In light of the death of Amanda Todd, who was literally driven to her grave by her own image on the Internet, and the whole Reddit “creepshot” kerfuffle, it’s instructive to look how media imagery of the female body plays into the horrors we face every day. (It doesn’t do men any favors either, as it locks them into the role of the dominant victimizer, instead of an equal partner coexisting in peace and freedom. But how many straight men are raped and killed, or driven to madness, eating disorders, or suicide, as a result of this false image of them in advertising?)

Stupid Sex Tricks: And now, your pre-flight safety drill…

Passengers on a Polish airplane got a different brand of safety drill when they buckled in, thanks to a major condom brand:

Was this staged? I don’t know. The giggling old lady and the horrified young man tell me it can’t have been, since those are the reactions you’d least expect from people of their respective ages and genders. As for that close-up of the young couple fondling each other, I have to wonder.

Let’s hope the REAL safety drill got as much attention as this.

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Coke adds racism? Sure smells that way.

Courtesy of Ad Age, by way of Gawker, we learn what the Coca-Cola Company (and a certain adman) really thinks of non-white people…and it ain’t pretty:

In the interest of transparency, let me confess my bias. I’ve done a lot of work over the years for one of the big soft-drink companies. Let me point out that I’ve seen that company do a lot to increase consumption of its diet drinks, bottled water, juice and healthy snacks. But let’s face it. Hispanics and African Americans are much less interested in diet products. Sugary drinks — often the sweeter the better — do well with them. There are a lot of cultural barriers to getting both these groups to understand the importance of being lean.

That was David Morse…in Gawker’s words, a “professional multicultural marketer of sugar water to minorities”. Sounds about right. And David Morse has no idea of just how racist he sounds when he asserts that blacks and Latin@s have more of a taste for sugar than white people (who, as we all know, NEVER get fat, much less obese. People of Wal-Mart tells us so!)

And of course, black and Latin@ consumers are breaking down Coke’s door BEGGING for ever huger servings of fizzy high-fructose corn syrup, right? Only them…not white people, who have the will-power and self-control needed to bolt down that atrocious aspartame swill known as Diet Coke:

Multicultural marketing is about talking to minorities — or if you prefer, the new mainstream — and representing them, acknowledging them and showing them that you care about their business. Could soft-drink companies and others in the sugar business do a better job of promoting healthy food and beverage consumption, particularly among African Americans and Hispanics? Absolutely. Do they owe these groups an apology? I don’t think so.

In a criticism of Mr. Bloomberg, Stefan Friedman, a spokesperson for the New York City Beverage Association said, “The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates.” I tend to agree. The fault is with overconsumption. Responsibility lies with parents. A contributing factor is culture. On many levels, the soft-drink industry is being demonized as if it were the new big tobacco.

Hate to say it, David, but that demonization is richly earned. After all, you’re the ones profiting off those raised mortality rates of visible minorities, and off their so-called lack of self-control, which you slickly pass off as being a “culture” problem.

Those kids are growing up in the same culture as we white folk…a culture saturated in junk food, endless junk food. Ads for junk food are all around us, and the message is the same whether you’re black, brown or white: CONSUME THIS! CONSUME THIS IN MASSIVE QUANTITIES, FAR MORE THAN YOUR BODY EVER WILL NEED!

And Coke, to make it even more insidious, is liquid junk food. Whether sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or aspartame (which, more insidiously still, causes us to crave sugar to make up for what our taste buds are being tricked into only thinking we’re getting), it is devoid of nutritional value. I’ve heard it called “liquid candy”, which is rather too nice a way of putting it, since even the junkiest candy has more nutritional value than Coke. (And it’s less fattening, too. You consume less because you fill up on it sooner.)

But yeah, Dave, keep patting yourself on the back about how Coke bears zero responsibility, and it’s all the fault of those unself-controlled black and brown people, who are more sugar-happy by nature and culture than the white people who consume the exact same slop in the exact same hugely bloated quantities per capita.

I’ve never been a cola drinker, but I don’t blame it so much on my German genes and Canadian upbringing as I do on the fact that being constantly, incessantly told what to consume by big corporations just utterly repulses me. Especially when I consider what Coke is doing in Latin America.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if learning this has a similar effect on the very target audiences you Coke-heads pride yourselves so much on penetrating with your racialized drivel.

PS: Courtesy of Gawker’s comment section, we learn that the high preference for sugary foods by minorities is a direct result of…are you sitting down for this?…MARKETING.

Stupid Sex Tricks: Wear it, (over)share it

When I first saw the headline for this Glamour piece, I have to admit, my mind jumped to all kinds of dystopian conclusions: Love-gloves with a built-in nanochip that automatically activates when the rubber gets used, and spills all the dirty deets of your deed to a breathlessly waiting Internet? Hey, it could happen. But by the sounds of this, it ain’t happening yet…luckily:

Discovery News reports that Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest has distributed 55,000 condoms around local colleges and universities that feature implanted QR codes, which track when and where people have sex. The reported data is then collected on a website called WhereDidYouWearIt.com.

It’s sort of the Foursquare of sex: each condom has a barcode which the user can scan with their Smartphone to upload their location as well as general details of their sexual experience (anonymously). An unconventional way to promote public health? Yes. But it does sound kind of fun, right?

A rep for Planned Parenthood says of the check-in system: “Condoms are an essential tool in preventing unintended pregnancy and stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV… We hope the site promotes discussions within relationships about condoms and helps to remove perceived stigmas that some people may have about condom use. Where Did You Wear It attempts to create some fun around making responsible decisions.”

Cute.

Unfortunately, my idea of making condom use fun involves lots of kissing and no telling. And I somehow doubt that this sort of thing would stay fully anonymous very long. If it’s on the Internet, it can be hacked. It’s probably even easier to do with this, given how notoriously leaky smartphones are, data-wise. And do you really want to advertise it, in a world already inundated with advertising?

Didn’t think so.

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