Over the weekend, a story caught my eye and I can’t stop thinking about it – Extra TV ran a segment about a recent ad for Ralph Lauren, in which a basically skeletal model is depicted as having a head larger than her pelvis, thanks to some questionable photoshopping. Immediately, this threw me into an uproar – as a woman, this ad offends me, but what upset me more than anything is Ralph Lauren’s rather lame statement:
“For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.”
Excuse me? They didn’t know that this had been done? I have worked in retail marketing and nothing went to press without several rounds of approvals, and that was at a furniture manufacturer in the midwest. They’re trying to tell me that an iconic international brand like Ralph Lauren would print something without final approval? I don’t think so.
Will Tweet for Food
From time to time, I like to point out grassroots marketing efforts, particularly because of the degree of authenticity. Those who know me well know that I am also involved in a group called Tastecasting, which combines two of my favorite things – dining out and social media. Check us out here, especially if you’re interested in starting a chapter in your city.
The 2010 Census is sure to bring surprises to marketers – the “average” American consumer is no more. As demographics expert Peter Francese writes for Advertising Age, “The average American has been replaced by a complex, multidimensional society that defies simplistic labeling.” Though official data won’t be released until April, 2011, we do know some of the preliminary findings: diversity statistics are widely varied by demographic group, the American household is extremely varied (married couples without kids are the prevalent type, followed by single people), and the population is shifting toward the southern and western portions of the country.
Happy Monday (and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers)
Finally, here are a couple of spots that have been making me laugh lately. Bud Light does a genius job drawing parallels between an uncomfortable breakup and selecting a beer, which Geico presents a talking pothole that is eerily reminiscent of how I imagine Britney Spears sounds like. Enjoy!