Inaccurate Cultural Advice Worse Than No Advice At All
A company photo published on Microsoft’s website recently caused a scandal after it appears that the company had followed inappropriate cultural advice. On the company’s US website the photograph depicts a scene of an Asian man, black man and white woman of various ages seated around a table. This was supposed to show equality within the company in regard to race and age. For the firm’s Polish website, the image is “photo-shopped”, with a white man’s head placed on the black man’s body. This spurred outrage with bloggers and tweeters around the world. The image was hurriedly removed and Microsoft issued an official apology although they gave no explanation of why the image was edited.
Behind the news:
This is yet another example of the power of digital advertising and how brands may no longer think of different markets in isolation; they now need to consider that each digital campaign released is readily available globally. Race is a sensitive topic across all markets and should always be considered in all aspects of marketing and advertising. An effective reminder of how inaccurate cultural advice can be equally as harmful as no advice at all.