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From yesterday's Daily Candy email...
Can't believe they used the exclusionary "flesh-tone" to describe the color of the product.
Crayola changed the name of its "flesh" colored crayon to "peach" back in 1962 because the crayon maker recognized the racist implications.
07:20 AM in Copywriting, Digital Advertising , Racism in Advertising | Permalink
racist advertising copy
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How do you, as a professional, handle the situation if your client wants you to promote a feature like this? If they specifically chose the color to be unobtrusive against the flesh of white people, whom they consider to be their most likely customers?
Would you try to show them the drawbacks of promoting this as a feature? Show the product against whitish flesh and let readers draw their own conclusions? Write, "And, if your flesh happens to match this color . . ." :-)
I guess the job calls for a great deal of tact some days.
By the way, what the heck do they mean by "pesky body search"? One minute we're in airport security, then we're where? Someplace where we're hiding items we don't want detected. By whom? Authorities? Thieves? Are we to fantasize hiding our passports against our flesh in the hope that our bodies will be identifiable? But we're so cool that this counts as pesky?
01 September 2010 at 10:22 AM
I would have just told the client, "You can't do that, it will be perceived as racist." (Being diplomatic is not one of my strengths.)
It's a weird selling point, as you pointed out. Plus, white people come in many different shades, too, so just how unobtrusive could the thing ever be?
Paula Zargaj-Reynolds |
01 September 2010 at 11:05 AM
My question is: what difference does it make what color it is? If TSA does a body search they do by feel. Also, it doesn't matter if your skin happened to be that exact color (which I cannot imagine any healthy human being to be) wouldn't it still protrude in an odd way?
Bad ad copy. Bad product. Perfect match.
02 September 2010 at 03:26 AM
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