Friday, September 28, 2007

Offensive Advertising

Today on my way to work I tuned into Newsradio 620. Charlie Sykes was on, and he was talking about this story. An advertisement for Folsom Street Fair (a sexual fetish festival, as I understand it) in San Francisco depicts almost-nude men and women in bondage/leather outfits sitting around a table mimicking the Last Supper. Miller is a sponsor of the festival, and their logo is displayed on the bottom of the image. Many people are outraged by the image and The Catholic League is calling for a boycott of Miller products. When I was listening to the story on 620, people kept calling in and sharing their anger over it... many of them were really, really worked up about it.

Maybe it's just that I wasn't personally offended by this image, but my reaction was that these people were a little bit too worked up. There is media content everywhere we look that is bound to offend someone. I suppose I come across media messages pretty regularly that go against my personal opinions and beliefs, but I realize it happens, so take them with a grain of salt. It's not like Miller is sending people dressed in bondage to the houses of these people and having them perform a live re-enactment of the Last Supper in their living rooms. And it's not the first or the last time someone is going to mock other people's beliefs... it happens.

Or... maybe this image was TOO controversial. It didn't personally offend me, but it is pretty extreme. Maybe Miller should've recognized that and pulled out as a sponsor of the festival in avoidance of this situation and the resulting "bad press"?

What do you guys think? Do people care too much about offensive/controversial media content, or is it the responsibility of the media to refrain from using/sponsoring images or other content that could potentially upset people?

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