Tonight it's the premiere of the Save The Children TV3-show "It gets better" (det blir bättre), and it's been a full day since Micke Kazarnowicz posted his reaction to the shows tailgating on Dan Savage's It Gets Better project, summing it up with: Save the Children belittles LGBT youth. We pre-emptivly badlanded the show here: "It gets better" campaign idea hijacked by "Save the children" in Sweden?
Save the children have been putting out fires on twitter ever since, and posted a release: "We want to have dialogue on LGBT issues" (google translated) to clarify their position.
We want to say that we take the criticism seriously. We are humble and listen to the critics - and above all, we are very concerned because there are those who believe that we have wronged them. It has never been our intention to offend or insult anyone.
The focus of the American grassroots movement, "it gets better" is undoubtedly the problems that young LGBTQ people face, but the spirit of the campaign have a bearing on the more vulnerable groups. On the campaign website you can read the original petition . It is aimed primarily at the problems that LGBT-adolescents are forced to face, but do not stop there. While other children of vulnerability - "other bullied teens" - should be told that "It gets better".
When TV3 and Meter presented the idea to do a television show inspired by "it gets better", we were therefore in favour of lifting the campaign to ALL children who feel they are in darkness to get hope for a better future. All children and young people have the right not be discriminated against or subject of vulnerability, no matter what it is about. Save the Children's ambition is to reach all these children and adolescents.
We believe in the message that life can change and become better in spite of difficult circumstances. Save the Children believes that it is very important to be able to recognize themselves in someone else when you are in a vulnerable situation. It's healing, comforting and a key to change to get access to other stories, to get confirmation through recognition, and to know that you are not alone.
But, as so often happens, there's bigger danger in copying than simply being called a hack as I touch on in my chat here, you can quite easily start an avalanche of badwill and that's exactly what's happening here.
Ilona Sz Waldau, a politician who has paid a monthly fee to "Save the children" for the past 23 years resigned her membership yesterday and tweeted about it. Many more people on twitter followed. @Kazarnowicz is relentless in exposing how the TV show is tacking their project onto the already hugely succesful US LGBT project by tweeting their every move:
" @raddabarnen Secretary General argues that @detblirbattre follows exactly the purpose of "It Gets Better" in the radio interview http://nowi.cz/gj8W8p "
I'm frankly surprised there hasn't been a spontaneous anti-Räddabarnen-hashtag trending in Sweden yet. Rädda barnen have joined in the comments at Kazarnowicz Åsiktstorped blog, (scroll down to Anders Maxson in the comments), but fail to really grasp why the LGBT community and their supporters are so upset. His comment starts with:
At "Save the Children" we've now read and discussed your blog a lot, mind you. The writing has really caused us to ponder whether we have done something wrong. Have we stolen a campaign? We think not. "It gets better" is a campaign / movement that primarily focuses on LGBT youth, but not only them. The appeal reads "I'll Speak Up Against Hate and intolerance Whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll Provide Hope For lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and Other bullied teens by Letting Them Know That "It Gets Better." ". In the U.S., this appeal has gone from being a grassroots movement to walk all the way to the White House and Barack Obama has given speeches at precisely the theme of "it gets better" in a broader sense. In today's media landscape things evolve, always changing, moving, and taking new twists.
And then came the Meter and TV3 and asked us if we wanted to be part of a Swedish version for TV, with a broader perspective - every child's right to a hopeful future. The idea was and is - brilliant, we think.
Micke Kazarnowicz responded to them with:
"I understand your post that you consider yourself to have precedence on "It Gets Better".
It makes me appalled. You obviously have not looked at the original campaign. Of the over one thousand videos uploaded, Barack Obama's is but one, and the overwhelming majority of videos in "It Gets Better" is by and for LGBT people. You desperately cling to the small print without taking account of the campaign as a whole.
If you really believed in what you are saying now, you would have cleared the whole rights thing with Dan Savage and the other people involved in "It Gets Better". How do you explain that this is not done?
Exploitation of goodwill
Marketing communication should not make unjustifiable use of the name, initials, logo and/or trademarks of another firm, company or institution. Marketing communication should not in any way take undue advantage of another firm’s, individual’s or institution’s goodwill in its name, brands or other intellectual property, or take advantage of the goodwill earned by other marketing campaigns without prior consent.
The gentlemen's agreement that is the ICC guidelines does not equal law, but following them is a Good Idea™.