The social ministry (department) in Sweden has launched an ad campaign that attacks media moguls morals. The campaign can be seen on poster, TV, Cinema and the web site Flicka.org (girl.org, also available as HTML only version at flicka.gov.se). The campaign is created by ad agency Forsman och Bodenfors.
One of the tv commercials which looks like a scene straight from the reality show Big Brother (the show that launched all the latest pop-tarts and famous-for-no-reason people) has a couple making out. Then the girl suddenly turns to the camera and asks: "Does a girl have to have sex on TV to get ahead?" and encourages viewers to ask Manfred Aronsson, CEO of Channel 5 (which Big Brother airs on), and gives out his phonenumber 08-520 555 55.
In another commercial, the usual rap video scene is depicted with half naked women washing cars all the while some rapper raps about sex Ho's that "do it like a pro" and getting down . One of the girls suddenly walks to the camera and asks: "What the heck is this? Why do nearly all videos look like this?" and then suggests you ask Mårten Aglander, CEO of Universal Music and gives out his phone number.
The posters in the campaign are equally critical, questions like "Why does the same magazine lists the best dressed men and the sexiest undressed women?" and "Why does a national newspaper allow ads for phone sex?", all of the posters have contact phone numbers to the people responsible, and the website has email addresses to everyone involved.
All media in the campaign has been donated, posters are seen in the subways and commercials are shown on channel 3 and 4 - but not on the targeted channel 5.
Sara Damber who is the projectleader of the campaign said to Resumé: "The idea behind the campaign is to highlight everyones personal responsibility in the current media climate where objectification and lookism is the norm. It's urgent that we ask questions to the people who are responsible for this type of content."
The flicka group also tours schools and has educating links to media criticism on their website. To watch the commercials click on Flicka.org and look for the words at the bottom "se reklamfilmerna".
Ok, so I did'nt understand a word that these girls are saying, so thanx for explaining it first. I just find this, very refreshing, especially coming from a country's ministry.
Awesome way to approach the problem for kids, and it just raises the old age question: what would you do for ratings? I think it opens the door for debates!
I applaude the initiative and whoever approved it! Great job! No balls, no babies!
While I think it's very healthy to question media and I do like that the ministry is getting involved in the media-education of the young citizens, I think they have made a mistake in making this a girl problem only. In the current climate, anything that even slightly nods to feminism has a way of turning into a Usenet-like flame fest in the national media. Lets face it, media today isn't only a girl-problem, while yes the girls do get to bear most of the negative stereotypical sex-fetish portrayal, it also affects young boys. To really educate the young citizens to question media they should have stepped away from making it a girl only problem, as I now fear that the real important message will get lost. Everyone should question the media. Why is the latest "entertainment" twisted reality shows where people lie and deceive and the shows do the most of the lying? (Think of My Fat obnoxious Fiance, The girl that turned out to be a man, and all other reality-shows). Why is it that journalists today can't - or don't seem willing to - dig deeper and ask questions in regards to anything at all? Why is it that advertising is taking over our public places, like record company "wild posters" all over cities in Europe, without paying the city councils a dime for it? Why are taxpayers paying for the removal of this crap?
This is a much bigger issue, everyone should question the media. They still have a chance to turns this around. If they create a "Pojke.org" for the boys and do equally hard hitting messages for the young men I think it's a great campaign. I must admit, that Big Brother scenario is spot on.
Interestingly enough, it seems that one of the targets for this campaigns attack has joined the discussion (and I say "seemed" as anyone can comment, there are no logins, and everyone in the world knows how to lie, so it could very well be someone else using her name) on Resumés website where she states (rough translations mine):
First Sara Damber (the project leader/AE) joins in and clarifies that people on the advisory board obviously didn't have anything to do with actually creating (and selecting the messages) in each ad.
Seconds later Charlotta Gustafsson, Editor of the teen magazine Vecko-Revyn joins in with a catty: "Then Sara won't mind if I tell my version of how this fluffy/dizzy project went about, and how much money the taxpayers have wasted on it. Instead of discussing relevant questions like I wanted to get more attention to, like why do we allow MTV to show advertising for alcohol or why fashion-companies insist on sending out clothes in tiny sizes to magazines with a long press-time, which makes it impossible to photograph them on normal-sized women. And yes it's true that Vecko-Revyn has never had a large cosmetic-surgery guide, on the other hand we did create an issue last summer which was called "Body & weight" where we had a cosmetic surgery guide where we described the risks with cosmetic surgery. BTW over 67% of our readers are 20 years old or older, and naturally Sarah Dambert knows this, but then the ads wouldn't
have been so much fun, right?
Several other people commenting jump into this and seem to get hung up on the "normal-size" part so at least two people ask: Why don't you refuse the small clothing and send them back? ....probably in a way to point out to Charlotte that she's pushing the blame away from herself, which ironically is exactly what the advertising campaign is saying. "Charlotte" comes back again and responds "we did try and boycott together with other magazines two years ago, how many do you think joined?" - again deflecting all responsibility away from her (at least she's consistent)
The Swedish socialdepartment and their cohorts have a long tradition on telling the Swedes what they should do and don't do.
I think the campaign is just shallow and only target the consequences of the sickness.