Advertising campaigns are always trying to be funnier than one another, more attractive and trying ever so hard to motivate us to buy their products. However, sometimes, they go too far and produce advertisements which are, for one reason or another, completely inappropriate. Sometimes advertising can be very shocking or offensive?
One of the organisations which monitor advertisements is called ASA, which stands for Advertising Standards Authority. This organization criticizes advertising and decides whether it is inappropriate. In the latter case the advertisement has to be changed or removed by the company which has produced it.
You would think that this is not needed, that there is nothing wrong with TV or print commercials being a little shocking or offensive just to make them funnier, but in reality this is not the case. Many people have to face advertisements which are rude and hurt them in many ways.
One of those ways is making fun of religion. For instance the advertising of MTV which depicts a Hindu God with a glass of beer, a cigarette, a pack of fries, a microphone and a guitar in his hands. This is very hurtful and disrespectful against Hinduism.
Of course religion is not the only way you can harm people. A number of women do not feel comfortable watching other women pictured as a sex object. It makes them feel like all men think of them that way. This should be avoided. This would make women feel unappreciated and men would get a bad reputation.
As a man, you could think this is not important at all, but it is not only women who are getting a disadvantage here. Think about all the children and other youngsters. Advertisements are not very child friendly in many cases, are they? Children get a bad view of how to treat others and their perception of women in this particular case is negatively affected. Moreover, a joke made by an adult could be wrongfully understood by a child.
Although it is not often we hear of advertisements which cause big problems, the message from the monitoring organizations is – “watch out”. Not everyone can appreciate a racially or sexist joke. Would you, if they made fun of you all the time?
Let’s keep in mind that we are a society of very diverse people and minorities often get the short end of the stick. It would be wrong for the powerful people and companies in our society to abuse the weak minorities and it is our duty to make certain this does not happen.