When victory leaves a bitter taste

The analysis in last week’s issue on the recently withdrawn Calvin Klein ads raises a sticky issue other than the rights and wrongs of exploiting quasi-pornographic images of children, as discussed in the piece.

Ironically, the ads have probably worked wonders in promoting Mr Klein’s products by dint of their very notoriety, in the same way that Benetton’s inappropriate use of disturbing images did.

Much as I am thoroughly in favour of a watchdog body, its power to withdraw advertising of doubtful taste is called into question if its actions only succeed in creating huge, free publicity for the offending party.

Those groups who campaigned against the ads can hardly claim to have won anything other than a rather bittersweet victory.

Ed Schofield

Marketing consultant

London NI

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