Fat Acceptance Ad Deemed Too Offensive for TV

16 05 2009

On an Australian show about advertising, The Gruen Transfer, advertising agencies were recently asked to make an anti fatism ad.  The show asked two advertising agencies to create ads to “end shape discrimination and make overweight Australians feel less humiliated by the constant public disapproval of anyone who isn’t a size 10 or under.”  But this ad, created by advertising agency The Foundry, was thought to be just too offensive to be shown on ABC television.    However, the ad was posted online along with a 15-minute panel discussion about the rationale behind the ad’s creation and why the ad may have not been successful.

The ad shows people telling startlingly offensive jokes.

“How do black women fight crime? They have abortions.”

“How do you stop a poofter from drowning? You take your foot off his head.”

“What’s the difference between Santa Claus and a Jew? Santa Claus goes down the chimney.”

“Why did God create alcohol? So fat chicks could get a root.”

The ad then flashes the following message across the screen:  

“Discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes.  FATPride.”

Although the ad was meant to be thought-provoking, not offensive, it seems to have missed the mark.  To me, the “jokes” are just so shocking and unacceptable that it is nearly impossible to appreciate the attempted point of the ad.  I’m also uncomfortable with the ad seeming to equate discriminations.  The point behind the ad is that all discriminations are unacceptable, but if the ad is interpreted to imply that all discriminations are the same, it is problematic.  I recommend you watch the discussion, though, to see the reasoning behind the ad’s creation and the points that the creators were trying to make.

Any thoughts?  Is this ad successful or too offensive to get the point across?  Should it have been aired on television?



2 responses

16 05 2009

Can we get a transcript of this? The sound isn’t working on my end for some reason, but I also figure that some people might need to keep the sound off on their computers while reading the blog. Thanks!

16 05 2009

Never mind, computer reboot got the sound working.

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