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Author Topic: Pushing capitalist sleaze button
Sharon
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Babbler # 4090

posted 19 July 2004 12:02 PM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
“Sexism in a bottle,” was sprayed in acid green paint on a Coke ad at a bus shelter in the south end of Halifax. The ad showed a woman's bejeweled torso with a new, smaller-size bottle. It focused on her bare hips in a pair of super low-rise jeans. God forbid they show her head — the body part bearing her voice and mind.

Full story


From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 19 July 2004 02:36 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You beat me to that one, Sharon, but I've seen an even worse ad, for "Amsterdam" beer. Not the visual - just a bottle of said beer as I recall - but the copy. It read "It's not the first time someone has paid for a blonde from Amsterdam".
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 19 July 2004 03:54 PM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
McDonald's is doing this too, with their store-front posters (and, I think, television ads... although the broadcast ones might have men in them), which show mostly the chest area of women wearing shirts that have slogans spelled in glitter. They're joined at the hip with Coke though, aren't they?
From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Loony Bin
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posted 19 July 2004 04:33 PM      Profile for Loony Bin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No men in those McD's ads. Just female chests, glitter, the stupid salads, and a little wiggle here and there for good measure.
From: solitary confinement | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rev. Phoenix
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posted 19 July 2004 07:16 PM      Profile for Rev. Phoenix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Coke's damn some bad things in their time, but blaming an ad that has sexy appeal in it for local rapes is too much.

It surpasses the normal sillyness and is down right offensive. I hate corporations, but hinting that Coke ads cause rape is irresponsible. See owes an appology to those women. I'd say to Coke too, but some of the things they have down are even worse.


From: Bradford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
James
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posted 19 July 2004 07:34 PM      Profile for James        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I truely need some insight/feedback here.

Believe me; as a mature male attending law school in the late '80's, I most certainly was sensitized to anything remotely approaching sexism; not that I wasn't already strongly inclined that way in any event.

But, where does the line fall between being against sexism and exploitation, and the puritanical ?

I have always had a hard time accepting Dworkinism as the embodiment of feminism or equalism.

Where are fellow Babblers on this ?


From: Windsor; ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 19 July 2004 09:00 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Coke is a bulls**t drink that rots teeth, causes obesity, and invades every corner of the globe. In some places it is cheaper than water.

Given the mega-profits, sexist advertising, and predatory marketing schemes, many of which target children,, I welcome all criticism against the company, especially criticism in the form of culture-jamming. Is there any way to see a picture that that coke ad jam?


From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 19 July 2004 09:14 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just completed a one-year boycott of coke products which was launched at the World Social Forum in 2003. The boycott was related to the murders of trade unionists at their facilities (yes I know they're privately owned) in Colombia.

In the course of the past year, I learned about Coke's activities in India where in one bottling plant, they drained the water from the local people's wells forcing them to travel 2 km to get water. Of course, Coke denied that it had anything to do with them.

I only missed the stuff at BBQs and with Chinese food.


From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 19 July 2004 09:18 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Npp: I just completed a one-year boycott of coke products...

Keep going. That stuff is shit anyway. Water and juice...what else do you need?

Oh yea. And beer. um. wine too. OK, sometimes the hard stuff is OK. But definitely no mix.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
CanadianAlien
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posted 19 July 2004 11:21 PM      Profile for CanadianAlien   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
QUOTE]Coke is a bulls**t drink that rots teeth, causes obesity, and invades every corner of the globe. In some places it is cheaper than water.[[/QUOTE]

These kinds of things are the correct way to modify people's behaviour vis-a-vis Coke and its kind.

These large brands feed on cultural and social ramifications of their products .. good or bad. So, focusing on the sexist nature of their ads is not productive.

Go after them with facts in terms of its negative health issues and you can get them. Of course, they will roll with those punches too, but you may just accomplish some social change.

WHen you talk about health you are talking about $ and that gets attention. Look at obesity related issues - legislation, etc in the USA. Its no longer about freedom to eat .. it is about bottom line cost to the national economy.

Coke is vulnerable in this respect.


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
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posted 20 July 2004 02:31 AM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The description of the Coke ad doesn't strike me as that odd. From what I can see anti-pc ads are in. I think for the most part it is assumed that because of their 'humour' that they can slip past the radar. Also 'sex' is now seen as being progressive rather than being part of some sort of dour eighties feminism.

From my perspective, as a socialist, I never expect consumer culture to represent my values. Pasolini said it back in 1968. And it is true now.

Capitalism can subsume any cultural rebellion. Unfortunately, I think that this is how the left has begun to satisfy itself,again. Cultural rebellion. You want a tattoo? A piercing? Eat organic? A Che T-shirt? There was even a recent news piece about how the hospitality industry was profiting from gay marriages. Not because they wanted to but because it was profitable.

One thing that has always struck me as odd. No activist has ever posed the question about where their computer components are made. Or how.


From: New Bedford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rev. Phoenix
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posted 20 July 2004 08:37 AM      Profile for Rev. Phoenix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I like sex in advertizing, better than the boring comercials, which is the majority.

As I said before attack Coke for the things they get wrong, such as the deaths of Unionists, rotting teeth, drained well, ect...

This whole anti sex thing is tiresome and it drives millions of people away from Feminism every year. Young women (and men) see some feminists villianfying sex and they want no part of Feminism.

It's a shame too, because they think that's what Feminism is, when they're is all sorts of different Feminism beliefs, from liberal feminism, Radical Feminism, Marxist Feminism, some kind of Fruedian Feminism, I forget what it's called, plus tons of others.


From: Bradford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 20 July 2004 11:11 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I welcome all criticism against the company

Even misplaced criticism, apparently. Want to blame them for souring milk, too?

quote:
Is there any way to see a picture that that coke ad jam?

You talk of it like it's a big work of art. Why not take a magic marker and write on your own Coke ad? Write anything clever you can think of, then take a picture of it that will last forever! Perhaps you could write "Coke is bad, m-kay?"

quote:
Would they yell that at my 6'3" boyfriend? No, it's because I'm a woman, an easy target. A torso in an ad.

Uh, if she's an easier target than her football player boyfriend it's not because of an ad.

This is pretty schlocky writing (although the author's dislike of Coca-Cola comes through loud and clear). Is rabble starving for columnists or something?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
CanadianAlien
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posted 21 July 2004 01:06 AM      Profile for CanadianAlien   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree with the sentiment of "This whole anti sex thing is tiresome and it drives millions of people away from Feminism every year."

Having spent about 2 years in Latin America, with its almost universal, quirky catholic values juxtaposed with an open view of the body, with some time in Europe and exposure to people from many other parts of the world, it is apparent that North America is the "odd man out" on very many issues, sexuality being one of them.


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 21 July 2004 01:18 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, that was one of my first reactions too.

"Hip-huggers and exposed midriffs are sleazy? Who knew?"

It's true that I don't really like the objectification of women when they use headless shots of female body parts and such. But this article also seems to draw a line between how the women were dressed (exposed midriffs! shocking!) and the sleaziness factor.

I don't think bare midriffs are sleazy.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
shannifromregina
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posted 21 July 2004 02:14 AM      Profile for shannifromregina     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't like coke at all, however I don't think an ad with a women midriff showing is shocking. We live in the year 2004, have you tried to buy clothes for a nine year old without have the midriff showing? Or pants that aren't hiphuggers? Almost impossible. So it is not a strech for Coke to use hiphugger's in an ad when it is so popular now. We have accepted sex into our commercials,TV and movies for atleast 2 decades. I don't think it is right but that is just the way it is. Something should have been done 20 years ago about using sex to sell products. Have you actually watched tv, movies and commercials and just look for the sex angle? I did ( we had to do it for a class project in Psych) there is alot and I mean alot and that was 10 years ago. So why is it such a problem now?
From: regina | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 21 July 2004 03:15 AM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have no problem with the sex in commercials (beyond my typical dislike of advertisement) but I do have a problem with the isolating parts of female bodies -but only from the bodies that have 'objective' sex appeal- and using them to sell objectively bad-for-you products like coke and big macs.

edited to add
also, i think that part of the reason that it seems so hard to find non-hiphugger jeans or belly shirts is because of ads like this...

[ 21 July 2004: Message edited by: wizkid ]


From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Melsky
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posted 21 July 2004 03:30 AM      Profile for Melsky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am all for sex, sex and more sex. I am a feminist. It disturbs me that there is a proliferation of ads that cut women's heads off from their bodies. It's not sexy to me, it's decapiation.

The worst and most dehumanizing ad I have ever seen was in a bar in Ohio. It was a life size cardboard three 4 sided display with women on each side. It was divided into four sections, so you could spin them independently. You could mix and match head, breasts, hips, and legs. It was a beer ad, I don't remember the company. I really wish I had taken a picture of it.


From: Toronto | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 21 July 2004 10:19 AM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's a shame too, because they think that's what Feminism is, when they're is all sorts of different Feminism beliefs, from liberal feminism, Radical Feminism, Marxist Feminism, some kind of Fruedian Feminism, I forget what it's called, plus tons of others.

Fruedian Feminism!? There's a fucking oxymoron


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 21 July 2004 10:42 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's not so much using sex to sell I object to, it's worked for years. What is wrong is using sex to dehumanize half of the population. Not only is a body without a person being used more, but these bodies often belong to underaged girls. This is a trend that can cause a lot of misconceptions in the minds of young people, male and female.

If you notice, the ads that do show the entire person are often 14-year-old girls made up to look 25.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 21 July 2004 11:00 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It disturbs me that there is a proliferation of ads that cut women's heads off from their bodies. It's not sexy to me, it's decapiation.

Speaking as a photographer, it's called "cropping", and in the case of the McDonald's ads it's a way to make the message on the t-shirt the focal point, and not someone's face. There's nothing wrong with faces, mind you, but our eye will jump to them, rather than to the text message.

And if cropping a head off of a photo is 'decapitation', is covering the genitals in an ad 'castration'?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 21 July 2004 11:29 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Debra, a psychoanalytic-based feminism was very popular in France, Italy and other Latin-Speaking countries, in the 1970s and 1980s.

By the way, Freud was a man of his times with respect to women - one could say the same of Marx and many other progressive thinkers, alas - but in a revolutionary in many ways. Moreover, he was anything but sexist with respect to his own daughter, Anna, whom he encouraged in her career.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 21 July 2004 12:37 PM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Debra, a psychoanalytic-based feminism was very popular in France, Italy and other Latin-Speaking countries, in the 1970s and 1980s.

By the way, Freud was a man of his times with respect to women - one could say the same of Marx and many other progressive thinkers, alas - but in a revolutionary in many ways. Moreover, he was anything but sexist with respect to his own daughter, Anna, whom he encouraged in her career.


And well that may be. Yet numerous things have been done to women in Freud's name following his theories that I would submit have little to do with feminism.


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Melsky
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posted 21 July 2004 04:58 PM      Profile for Melsky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:

Speaking as a photographer, it's called "cropping", and in the case of the McDonald's ads it's a way to make the message on the t-shirt the focal point, and not someone's face. There's nothing wrong with faces, mind you, but our eye will jump to them, rather than to the text message.

And if cropping a head off of a photo is 'decapitation', is covering the genitals in an ad 'castration'?


Speaking as an artist, I know what cropping is.

This ad is not just about focusing the image. That is part of it. Mainly it's about tits and slender little stomachs of faceless women being used to sell crap that if used enough, will make you look very diferent from the model whose body entices us to buy them.

It's not castration to show a head shot, but to have a parade of women's bodies without heads is really a form of showing what corporate culture values, and it isn't that part of my body I use to think or express opinions with.

I think the article was over the top. I have heard that rape has actually been a problem even before Coke or McDonalds existed. But having a steady stream of advertising images with no heads is disturbing to me.

Again, it's not one or two images or ads. It's the pattern.

I'm going to have to start taking pictures of headless ads now.


From: Toronto | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 21 July 2004 05:13 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Speaking as an artist, I know what cropping is.

Oops. Shoulda read your profile.

quote:
but to have a parade of women's bodies without heads is really a form of showing what corporate culture values, and it isn't that part of my body I use to think or express opinions with.

I wouldn't dismiss this read entirely, but I don't think that dehumanizing women out of sexism or misogyny is the plan. I think that often ads are 'dehumanized' simply because an anonymous model brings nothing with them, whereas the inclusion of a face makes "every(wo)man" into an individual. I think this is also a big reason why, when a face is shown, it's often what we'd call a "generic" face. Marketers want us to associate good things with a certain brand or product, but not necessarily that model with the underbite and a mole. An obvious exception to this would be a celebrity spokesperson, in which case the marketer certainly wants you to see and associate a specific individual.

quote:
being used to sell crap that if used enough, will make you look very diferent from the model whose body entices us to buy them.

True. Mind you, many's the man who found out the hard way that excessive beer drinking will not result in the washboard abs of the guy throwing the frisbee and drinking a Blue in the commercial. If ads had to show you what kind of person their product is likely to make then everyone in commercials would be poorer, and maybe fatter, but seldom happier.

quote:
I'm going to have to start taking pictures of headless ads now.

Is it 'adwatch' that does this? They may have done much of the gruntwork for you. I remember Audra posting the link here a long time ago. (?)


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
rosweed
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posted 21 July 2004 06:12 PM      Profile for rosweed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm sorry (well, not really) but who gives a shit? When I see women wearing Playboy and Hooters t-shirts of their own free will, it makes me wonder where you feminists have gone wrong. Is it your inherent puritanism and your denial of natural human sexuality? How many of you "feminists" buy into the pornography peddled by Cosmo and Vogue and Chatelaine, etc. Any women who's honest will tell you that women dress or undress for other women, not for men, who do not care about fashion and how it degrades/objectifies women. You do it to yourselves because you want to. So, don't blame it on men or the patiarchy or the corporations or the pope or anybody else. Take a look in the mirror and be honest.
From: Brooklyn NY | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 21 July 2004 07:10 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah!!! High-five there, Rosweed. Way to tell the feminists what exactly their problems are.
From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 21 July 2004 07:19 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, we love that.

All all the feminists I know totally adore Cosmo magazine, too.

I just hurt my eyes, rolling them.


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 22 July 2004 12:25 AM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ive seen you Audra. Tight short crop shirt, short tight skirt, wiggling it for the feminists, looking for that cheap thrill, the whistles, the catcalls. *sigh*

Cant you have some respect and no give in to the allure of impressing them and tittilating them?

For same


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Melsky
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posted 22 July 2004 02:07 AM      Profile for Melsky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
I wouldn't dismiss this read entirely, but I don't think that dehumanizing women out of sexism or misogyny is the plan. I think that often ads are 'dehumanized' simply because an anonymous model brings nothing with them, whereas the inclusion of a face makes "every(wo)man" into an individual. I think this is also a big reason why, when a face is shown, it's often what we'd call a "generic" face. Marketers want us to associate good things with a certain brand or product, but not necessarily that model with the underbite and a mole. An obvious exception to this would be a celebrity spokesperson, in which case the marketer certainly wants you to see and associate a specific individual.

I don't think it's misogyny behind ads like that. I know there's not a group of ad execs with snidley whiplash mustaches rubbing their hands together and going "we'll symbolically decapitate them, hahahaha". I think it's good for corporate profits to keep people in a state of agitation about their appearance, even men.

I understand the point behind cropping and I guess people might tend to look at faces and might spend a second less looking at the woman's chest area in the t-shirt with the clever advertising slogan on it. It still feels dehumanizing. Is it really neccessary to do this to sell stuff?

(on edit, I want to say it's good to be able to discuss it in an intelligent manner. And how can you be a photographer if you can't see? I thought Magoo was blind.)

[ 22 July 2004: Message edited by: Melsky ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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posted 22 July 2004 02:36 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another fact to depress us all further: the companies that make these "headless" ads get to write off the cost of making them as a fully tax-deductible business expense. Which means that you and I pay (indirectly) for the privilege of having our senses invaded by psychological warfare campaigns which have no purpose but to fuck up our self-esteem so we'll buy useless crap.

You couldn't design a more idiotic system.

I say repeal that damned tax-deduction -- hell, reverse to a tax penalty, so that the more you advertise, the more taxes you pay. We don't need this toxic sewage constantly oozing into our every orifice, especially not at public expense.

PS: If it's any comfort, at least these companies are broadening their efforts in order to destroy men's self-esteem the way they have women's for the last few decades. Equality at last!


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.C.
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posted 27 July 2004 08:58 PM      Profile for N.C.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What?! No smoke-filled board room? No grand-master mysogynist plan to keep us fillies in our lap dancing place? But I thought for sure...

In the more sexually liberated countries (as those mentioned in Europe), do they fetishize the female body in advertisements in the same way? I would think in a less puritanical society, there would be little interest in doing so; the eroticization has that much more appeal in a society that paints sexuality as forbidden (then turns around and commodicizes it). I was unaware of the seemingly puritanical bent of 80s feminism (many of the feminists I know hang out on Wreck Beach). I don't think that the writer of the piece necessarily wants to move in that direction, and it's too bad the article seemed to devolve into a blame-Coke-for-the objectification-of-women. A point she started to make was, since Coke is already riding high, can't they get more socially daring with their advertising? Marketing lust has been so played. It's too bad they don't "push the envelope".


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
rosweed
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posted 28 July 2004 05:45 PM      Profile for rosweed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Beluga2 -

What the hell are you talking about?

There's a deduction for headless torsos in advertising? Somehow, I don't think so.

My torso-less brain cannot grasp what you're talking about.

Educate us, please!

Shawn Rosvold

www.rosweed.com


From: Brooklyn NY | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 28 July 2004 06:34 PM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
er, i think what he was saying was that advertising expenses are tax-deductable and business expenses.
From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 29 July 2004 11:01 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Debra:

And well that may be. Yet numerous things have been done to women in Freud's name following his theories that I would submit have little to do with feminism.


I don't know enough about Freud to say for sure, but as one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century he could reasonably be expected to have influenced many different movements with diverse values, some feminist and some not. Marx (who incidentally was also stuck in his time- much more so than John Stuart Mill, for instance) influenced some very bad people- should we say that progressives shouldn't look at Marx because of the deeds of Stalin and Pol Pot?


From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged

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