Racist games console (2006)
Sony launched an ad campaign for its new ceramic white Playstation Portable in the Netherlands in which a white woman, embodying the new product is gripping jaw of a black woman, in a superior and aggressive way.
The ad has been judged racist and unacceptable. In response, Sony initially defended its actions citing that there were around 100 images created for this ad designed to show the contrast in colours of the PSPs, including ones where the black woman is dominant. It eventually pulled the ads after rounds of criticism.
Behind the news:
There is a lot of clutter in the world of advertising. Consumers are constantly bombarded with images and messages, so advertisers have a big challenge in terms of gaining cut through. Artistic and controversial imagery often serves this purpose. The issue of race is an extremely sensitive topic and in more heterogeneous societies can lie behind social tensions. Advertising that does not consider the history of race relations, may find itself in a challenging position, defending a campaign, that albeit unintentionally, has racist connotations.
© Textappeal 2009