Armed with clown paraphernalia to fight poverty!

Clown paraphernalia as a tactic to help children in poverty overseas. Who’d a thunk it! And red noses for just a buck care of Walgreens.IMG_3862

I have nothing against any organization that is dedicated to fighting poverty at home or abroad, especially RedNoseDay.org. But that red-nose-for-a-buck thing bothers me because the bulk of dollar items are made in China.

Dear Walgreens,

Recent and reliable recent child labor statistics on China are unsurprisingly nonexistent. But it is certainly safe to say that the child labor rate in China – which exacerbates child poverty – is high enough to make Robert E Lee blush. 

Let’s hope you did the right thing.

Sincerely,

tides ‘n’ tudes

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Beautiful Cars & Fast Women!

<doh> Strike that headline and reverse it!

In our world of politically correct, culturally relevant, meticulously targeted branded content, how much breakthrough potential the anachronistic fast car + beautiful women tactic have?

It’s sexist, hedonistic and materialistic. It glorifies the spoils of greed and excess, sends the message that young, thin, light-skinned women are trophies for rich men and that that should be the aspiration of all women. It diminishes the self-worth of men, most of us who will never be able to afford an exotic car, and taints our perception of our own partners who may not match this female stereotype.

From the perspective of social responsibility and the power of advertising, nothing can be more socially irresponsible.

But – revisiting my original question – in this day and age will this breakthrough?

I write extensively on culture, identity, advertising and the social responsibility of the advertising industry. Let’s revisit this in a week’s time and compare click-through rates.

(Irrespective of how many or few people have clicked through to this page, the Geneva Motor Show will always be the pinnacle of auto shows. I can’t wait to get there myself! And as exotic cars go, the Alpha Romeo here is among the most attainable in the category.)

Can the pickup and the Prius be friends?

Prius RepellantOne can barely take a breath without being bombarded with reminders that the United States is a country divided. Socioeconomically, institutionally, educationally, professionally, informationally, we are a populous that is unable (or unwilling) to reach across barriers. The American flag itself has become a symbol of division and not of unity.

The upcoming presidential election may well test the limits of this political experiment in representative democracy called the US. Democracy, by design, is dependent upon consensus.

Can we adapt to a way of life that minimizes greenhouse gas emissions even if we cannot agree on global warming? Can we compensate for the correlation between wealth and race even if we are at odds over its causation? Can we fix the fact that America is a first world superpower yet most American public school students live in poverty without letting these very kids get caught in partisan crossfire?

Is American ideology a zero sum game, or can Beyoncé and Taylor Swift peaceably coexist? Can the pickup and the Prius be friends?