I'm somewhat aghast at two spurious developments in adland this week.
Firstly, the furore over Cate Blanchett having the temerity to have an opinion on carbon trading in Greenpeace's Say Yes Australia campaign - quelle horreur.
Blanchett, as an intelligent, tax-paying, Australian, creative professional has not only the right to speak of such issues, but some may think (and I do) that those with influence have a moral obligation to do so. There also seemed a distinctive dearth of commentary on whether Michael Caton was similarly judged.
Yes, it can get a little tedious listening to celebrities bleat ad nauseum about this cause or that (ie Brangelina, Bono, Sting et al) but seriously, as one of the most pressing social disasters of our time, could the climate debate perhaps be served more constructively by discussing Garnaut's findings rather than whether or not Blanchett has the right to express an opinion?
Then the news broke today that Adshel has pulled a safe sex campaign in Queensland after complaints from the Australian Christian Lobby and individuals that the images were encouraging homosexuality.
The Queensland Association for Healthy Communities Rip & Roll campaign images may well be direct and perhaps disarming but they are meant to be. Not only do they seek to normalise what is commonly accepted as a respectful, loving relationship between two adults, they encourage safety and responsibility in sexual behaviour across the board.
For the ad to be removed bespeaks an entrenched bigotry both in influential lobbyist's camps and at the very least a measure of either vilification or ignorance on the part of those capitulating to such archaic social views. Why is Adshel so concerned?
Since the ads were removed a Facebook protest group, Homophobia not here – Adshel caves to homophobic pressure, was established and at mid-morning was at 10,000 members. At the time of this editorial, just a few hours later it is close to 28,000. The results of people power will be interesting to watch as the fallout is no doubt debated overnight.
Have we forgotten why we needed Siimon's Grim Reaper? Shock works, people, and in a campaign aimed at a younger generation overwhelmed and assaulted by campaign-speak from every direction, nicely worded subtlety doesn't go very far. The danger and prevention of AIDS is one message that requires regular revival.This level of censorship does not have a place in our modern secular society nor does it contribute one iota to the advancement of equality and tolerance of the species.
Between the two issues, water cooler traffic will no doubt be running hot - well at least, I hope so.
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