Advertising is a 130 billion dollar a year industry. (Right now some of my clients are checking our recent billing statements and giving a collective sigh of relief, "Whew...not me!" they intone.) Depending on who you learn from the average American is exposed to 2,500 to 3,000 advertising messages each day. (This is all great information when starting up a conversation at a party...honest.) So, advertising is a big business...and it is also politically correct...sometimes.
Today I read in the Des Moines Register that CareerBuilder.com (Think BIG on-line job site) is going to discontinue their television advertising campaign that features chimpanzees. Scientists at the Great Ape Trust (ahhh..here in Des Moines) are commending the move and say, "All great apes deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The depictions of apes in entertainment misinform and reinforce negative and incorrect stereotypes." I will pause here to allow you to read that again. (Pause)
I'll miss them...the Chimps that is. I LOVE advertising messages that feature animals...but my favorites are Chimps, Apes, Gorillas...maybe because they are more interesting than humans?
But, here is the point of the story: So, when will we give the same "dignity and respect" to humans? Consider the following advertising stereotypes:
- Men - Usually Husbands - are almost always seen as dithering idiots in media advertising. If it were not for the super bright wife or woman who gives us direction I'm convinced men would wear their underwear backwards. (Wait...gotta check.)
- Blonds are dumb - Please people, this is gender neutral.
- Overweight People are lazy - hold on there! I'm usually at work by 6am...not fair.
- Skinny People are bubbly and full of energy...I was with my friend Sid who runs 3 miles every morning and weighs at least 100 pounds. At 6pm last night he was pleading with his wife: "Please honey, let's leave. I'm beat!"
- Farmers ALL wear free Seed Corn Hats - Hey, I was just at the Iowa Power Farming Show here in Des Moines and I also saw old cowboy hats!
Awake America! It is time to take not only great apes out of advertising it is also time to remove any vestige of humans from TV, Print, Internet, Radio, Display advertising. Just show the product for crying out loud!
If not preserving "dignity and respect" it will at least cut down on talent fees!