So the holidays are fast approaching. Wanna know an ad strategy that won’t sell your product? Date rape! Bloomingdales has learned this after posting a tone dead ad of a laughing woman with a man looking at her and the copy “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.” Bloomingdales posted an apology, but not before a barrage of negative feedback:
We heard your feedback about our catalog copy, which was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes.
— Bloomingdale’s (@Bloomingdales) November 10, 2015
Team Blackness also discussed people’s issue with the Google Veteran’s Day doodle not being white enough and further developments with the University of Missouri protests and the press coverage, or lack thereof, surrounding it.
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The MU situation has clearly deteriorated even further. Yesterday, there was an arrest made concerning on-line death threats made by a MU-Rolla student targeted towards the students and at least one professor – Melissa Click – whom various factions of the media (including this blog) have been demonizing, many classes were cancelled, the dorms were put on lockdown and many African Americans were evacuated from campus. The Chancellor of the Columbia campus announced his intention to retire leaving the univeristy with virtually no leadership at all; not that they had any at the beginning. The reaction of Fox and others has been that the students were lying about everything and they’ve really been going after Jonathan Butler. I had thought that Wolfe’s resignation would have led to MU unifying, but that clearly hasn’t happened. It seems like it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
That ad is one of those things where you wonder if it was ever shown to anyone outside that department before it went into production. And if there were any women in the room who could be like, Uh, guys …
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): I think we have our answer. Marketing by Republican frat boys, no doubt.
When I call Bill O’Reilly a vicious asshole, am I demonizing him? How about when I call Scott Walker a lying, hateful twit?
When I note that Melissa Click’s two most prominent characteristics appear to be a ravenous self-importance and a stunted intellect, is that demonizing her? I feel it is a prescient and restrained observation.
I completely get the implied “date rape” subtext of the ad, and agree it’s both tone-deaf and reprehensible. Oddly, though, the first time I saw it, that wasn’t what initially occurred to me. Maybe it’s because I have a number of friends who are alcoholics, so the first thing I thought when I saw “spike your best frind’s eggnog” was sneaking brandy or whisky into a non-alcoholic drink — not unlike John’s recent experience in Las Vegas when they put booze in his ginger ale or whatever it was.
Any interpretation, though, leaves Bloomingdales and their ad agency coming off like idiots at best and sociopaths at worst.
@Keith G: Yes, yes and yes. Do you favor the death threats against her? Do you favor firing her? If you were writing a blog about the MU situation, would you focus specifically on her to the exclusion of everything else? Do you think your fellow critics have been similarly restrained?
To Tommy or John or someone: Thanks for tightening up the space between the number and the commenter’s nym. Very happy to have numbered comments back again! The site is looking better all the time.
@Keith G: Yes, that’s what’s important. Not anything else.
@SiubhanDuinne: That’s what really bad about this: if the ad *only* suggested you drug your friend behind their back, it probably would have been caught and shut down. It seems that the suggestion of what they might call a “spontaneous romantic encounter”, and the rest of us would call “rape”, actually sweetened this horrendous ad for them. Obviously I’m just guessing here, but the rapey part of the ad actually blinded them to all the other horrible aspects of it – like for them that was the *good* part. *Brrrr*
(full disclosure: there was a LGM thread on this that allowed me to get these thoughts together with help from some insights from others)
It really is just beyond belief in 2015 that nowhere along the line did anyone even question it. Or, if someone did (a woman, presumably), she was either shouted down or her concerns were cavalierly dismissed (by a man or men, presumably). The more I think about it, the more my gob is smacked and my flabber is gasted.
RE: Bloomingdale’s… Federated has been stepping all over their privates for as long as I’ve been aware of them. The mess they created when they absorbed Emporium-Capwell was just the tip of a massive iceberg. Not at all surprising that they’d go Blurred Lines for the holidays: p!ssing off their customers seems to be what they do best.
@patroclus: No of course the death threat are not defensible. What a silly question to ask. No member of rational society would tolerate threats.
Firing her would be an adequate response for her calling for a physical confrontation. She is an educator who issued a threat to a student, for god’s sake.
Who said that? Not I, so your injection is without merit. As Obama said under different circumstances. “We can walk and chew gum at the same time.”
We can parse out the considerations of the very appropriate protest moment at the school…AND…we can comment on the actions of members of university community who when over the bend and behaved in unacceptable, and even dangerous ways.
“We need some muscle over here!” is an unacceptable physical threat. You have to know that.
If there end up being multiples, I am sorry. Commenting on this thread has gone sideways for my cpu/browser.
No of course the death threat are not defensible. What a silly question to ask. No member of rational society would tolerate threats.
@Keith G: I’m glad you at least draw a line somewhere.
It seems to me that firing her would be an adequate response for her calling for a physical confrontation with a student.
She is an educator, a teacher, and calling for muscle situation like that is beyond what any responsible professional would do. I am wondering what type of educational community around the country would find such behavior acceptable.
This blog is eating every other comment that I send.
@patroclus: And I’m not directing my comments at you, of course, but that’s what she’s had to deal with the last couple of days, as well as some of the students (especially Jonathan Butler). Despite her apology and her resignation (from the School of Journalism but not the school itself)), she has been receiving a lot of criticism so much so that she had to disappear from campus and cancel her classes. And as I said above, the situation has deteriorated on campus and the situation is tense, with locked dorms and two arrests made. Whatever her mistakes, it seems like overkill to continue to pile on.
What accredited educational community would allow one of its employees to issue a threat of violence against a student?
I’m sorry she’s had a bad week, yet she is responsible for her hideous conduct.
She should be treated none the less better than she treated the student she threatened
It seems that I can post comments as long as I keep them at a sentence length, how fun
25 years of public education, I learned that if one wants to redirect a student, do it quietly and carefully.
Once you touch or verbally assault a student whose behavior you’re having a problem with, you become the problem.
To those saying that this is deflecting attention from from important other tough, we can walk and chew gum at the same time
The good news is that an interim President has now been named, and hopefully, this will help calm the situation down. Wolfe is gone, the hunger strike has ended, the athletes’ boycott has ended, the game w/ BYU will go on in KC and arrests have been made for the death threats. Now, the university needs to address the actual concerns of the protestors, which are for more minority faculty hires, clear policies from administrators about not tolerating racial/homophobic stuff and possible curriculum changes.
We can parse out the needs and objectives of the very important protest movement, and….
…we can comment on the actions as of the university community went over the bend and behavior unacceptable, and even dangerous, way.
Commenting as if this were Twitter has been no fun, and I’m sure irritating to people reading this. Hopefully there will be a way to figure out what the hell is going on with this site