Tag Archives: advertisement

The ad industry’s mascot of cultural cluelessness

Note from CVK:
I highly encourage you to read Brownstein’s recent op-ed for AdAge.com, in which he quotes his one Black Friend and declares that agencies don’t get enough black and Latino applicants because “inner-city kids love to watch TV commercials — but they have no idea how the commercials are made.” The piece really encapsulates the cluelessness that exists in the advertising industry.

by guest contributor HighJive, originally published at MultiCultClassics

marc brownsteinAdvertising agencies consistently introduce characters that symbolize the cultural cluelessness, insensitivity and even racism so prevalent in the industry. Classic examples include Aunt Jemima, the Frito Bandito, and the Calgon Couple conspiring with their “ancient Chinese secret.” MultiCultClassics is proud to present the latest such character: Marc Brownstein.

Anyone unfamiliar with this new character is cordially encouraged to read the AdAge perspective presented in Essay 1205.

Just to be clear, this commentary is not intended to be a direct attack against Marc Brownstein. After all, it’s highly likely that Brownstein is a decent fellow and upstanding citizen. And he’s probably not a mean-spirited racist. Therefore, let’s avoid being haters regarding the true Marc Brownstein.

Rather, readers can think of Marc Brownstein as a label for actions and attitudes. Based on recent events (many of which have been detailed on this blog over the past months), it seems safe to conclude that every major Madison Avenue shop has a bunch of Marc Brownsteins on staff.

So what exactly is a Marc Brownstein?

When confronting issues of diversity and exclusivity, a Marc Brownstein openly displays passive bias. (Click here to read the MultiCultClassics kickoff essay, which serves up the phenomenon of passive bias.)

For guidance on race-based questions, a Marc Brownstein seeks counsel from a Black friend (who is often the only Black person in the Marc Brownstein social network). Of course, this Black friend will be a class act, unlike the majority of minorities featured on evening news broadcasts and regular installments of The People’s Court and Cops. Plus, the Black friend’s viewpoint will completely represent the opinions of every dark-skinned individual on Earth. Continue reading

Brand-new “Addicted to Race” episode out now (#43)!

by Jen Chau and Carmen Van Kerckhove
addicted to race logo
A brand-new episode of Addicted to Race is out! If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes. Click here to launch iTunes and subscribe today, it’s absolutely free.

RANT
The “ohmygodyou’rejewishnoway!” reactions Jen receives each year around the Jewish holidays are the subject of her rant today.

INTERVIEW: RACISM IN THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY
Carmen interviews Matthew Creamer, a reporter for the industry publication Advertising Age, about the New York City Human Rights Commission’s investigation into the advertising industry’s hiring practices. The staffs at ad agencies are so lacking in diversity that the entire industry is under investigation. For more about this story, check out HighJive’s post on Racialicious.

RSS FEED SHOULD BE BACK UP!
I ended up uninstalling and reinstalling WordPress altogether, and as far as I can tell, our RSS feed is working again now. However, I need to re-upload all the MP3 files of our old episodes, so you might encounter some dead links this week. Also, give me a couple days to get our logo back up, and all the little things in the sidebar.

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!
Please help us reach new listeners by voting for us on Podcast Alley, reviewing us on Yahoo’s podcast directory and reviewing us in iTunes.

NEW TO PODCASTS?
Check out this great introduction for the new podcast listener from iTunes. It breaks down all the different ways you can find podcasts, listen to them, subscribe to them, and so on.

Duration – 47:55
File Size – 19.3 MB
Right-click here to download an MP3 of Addicted to Race Episode 43
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Forcing the look

by Jen Chau
This ad campaign for international telecommunications company, Telefonica, seems to try to cash in on the mixed look. A little forced if you ask me.

Fascination with “mixed looks” is definitely something I am over. :) But it carries on. Can’t wait until everyone catches up and people realize that there are lots of people who look like this out there. There is something creepy about headshots like this. Are we supposed to be mystified by the way they look? (stare and wonder, “how did they get to be like this?”) There’s almost something anthropological about them. I mean, who needs to study anyone’s face like this?

You may have heard me complain about headshots of mixed people in the past. :) Yes, I think visibility is important, and I agree that there are still a lot of folks out there who objectify and get so curious because they aren’t yet comfortable with the idea that mixed people exist…. but I am still not convinced that face-front headshots is the way to do it. Aren’t we just encouraging objectification instead of moving towards a more realistic, complex understanding?