Monday, May 16, 2011

Perfect Scapegoat

Courtney Kessler

People compare advertisers to the spawn of Satan, but do we ever think that maybe we’re just being a little too sensitive? I literally laughed out loud while reading Lawrence A. Wenner’s “Go Daddy: More Panic, Advertising and the Super Bowl” when he mentioned a Bud Light spot being withdrawn from the 2005 Super Bowl because it slightly referenced Janet Jackson’s mishap that happened the year before. Ugh.

Are we being too sensitive?

Not advertisers. Sure, there are a handful around the country that have neglected to follow any ethical standards at all but it seems like we're stereotyping a bit to say that ALL advertisers are scum. I think we, as a society, are a just being too sensitive. It seems like we think we're living in Pleasantville, and we're not. The world is full of mistakes and full of stretching the truth or making ourselves look a little better than we actually are and you're kidding yourself if you think it's not.

Easy to blame

Because of a long ago socially-constructed belief that advertisers are at fault, we are constantly using them as our scapegoats. In a blog, Mom Talk, mothers talk about how their children are losing their battles with obesity and guess who they're blaming? Advertisers! Not the food industry, not their kids, and of course not themselves. We have started to blame advertisers for everything because it's easy to get the blame off ourselves. Start taking responsibility guys.

Everyone's an advertiser

In Ethics in Advertising by Chris Moore, he talks about how we are constantly acting like advertisers: when we meet someone for the first time, go on an interview, etc. We show ourselves in the best light so we can get something out of it, like a relationship or a career. Still think advertisers are the bad guys? Maybe just bad guys are bad guys (or girls).

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