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Rilig

Plan B ad - Offensive?

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My sister(not ace) was surfing YouTube when she saw and ad for Plan B emergency birth control. It said: "After a little problem with my birth control, I could vow to become a asexual, a-social, a-everything girl, or I can get a real plan."

I was a kind of offended by that. Asexuality isn't really a choice, like being homosexual or heterosexual. I get what they were really trying to say (celibate), but that's not what the actually said. It just proves that no one knows we exist or have proper knowledge if they do.

There are a couple ads with their own YouTube channel. Here's a link.

"I'm not even asexy and I still find that offensive." My sister, Katlyn. (I love how she knows that word! I say it sometimes.)

Any other opinions?

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I can't watch the ads because they lock up my computer, but it seems as if they are touting Plan B as a primary birth control! "Get a Real Plan"??? Plan B should never be someone's "real plan" for birth control. I know girls who rely on Plan B or ghetto Plan B (4-6 regular birth control pills taken together) and they are simply idiots who DO need to "get a Real Plan"--that doesn't involve emergency contraception.

Plan B becomes less effective the more often you take it, is expensive, can make you sick, and isn't as effective as other birth control methods. That's why it's only for emergencies.

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My sister(not ace) was surfing YouTube when she saw and ad for Plan B emergency birth control. It said: "After a little problem with my birth control, I could vow to become a asexual, a-social, a-everything girl, or I can get a real plan."

I was a kind of offended by that. Asexuality isn't really a choice, like being homosexual or heterosexual. I get what they were really trying to say (celibate), but that's not what the actually said. It just proves that no one knows we exist or have proper knowledge if they do.

There are a couple ads with their own YouTube channel. Here's a link.

"I'm not even asexy and I still find that offensive." My sister, Katlyn. (I love how she knows that word! I say it sometimes.)

Any other opinions?

Could you possibly link to the ad you describe?

It does sound offensive though

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Yeiks. I aree with Killjoy188... There are a number of issues with that ad. Paramount in my mind is that Plan B ISN'T a plan. It's a "oh crap, I didn't have a plan" plan/"something happened beyond my control" plan.

And, then, there's the Asexual bit. When the ad was originally described, I wasn't offended. But seeing it so bolded and ... purple... just makes it worse.

It doesn't exactly "offend" me, but it makes me really uncomfortable.

:(

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I don't see it as them saying it should be your birth control, just your back up plan that isn't stupid like jumping up and down.

I, like Neth, wrote a letter to them.

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The ad looks like this:

Asexualad-2.jpg

And links to this page.

Yeesh, look at that hierarchy. (Bit of a typography nerd here) Asexual is the most visible word there.

Asexual? That sounds bad. How can I keep myself from becoming that?

On the upside, its so vague we might get a few googlers :rolleyes: Man, everything about that ad is bad, down to the message its sending about birth control. Well, maybe not the colors. Purple and grey? What a coincidence! :lol:

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The ad looks like this:

Asexualad-2.jpg

And links to this page.

That ad doesn't even make sense to me. They could be "asexual, a-social, and a-everything", OR they could "get a real plan" (aka Plan B)? That's not really an "or". You can be the most asexual, a-social, and a-everything girl in the world, but that won't do jack for the "little problem with their birth control" they just had. It's like they're comparing apples to grapefruits. If they want to make an actual comparison, they could say "After a little problem with my birth control, I could jump up and down a lot, drink a lot of alcohol, etc, or I could get a real plan".

Edit: I sent a quick message via Youtube and let them know that I believe the word the girl in the ad was looking for was celibate or sexually abstinent, not asexual.

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Wow, that's pretty offensive, especially how it suggests that if you're asexual you're "a-everything". I don't have sex, therefore I can't have a social life! Quick, someone put me out of this misery!

I sent them a message about it and linked them to AVEN, suggesting that they do their research next time. I hope they remove this ad.

Thanks for posting this.

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There are so many thing wrong with this...

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OP; yes, it's as offensive as all Hell.

These are two good posts about how we're indoctrinated to accept marginalisation of minorities, and made to feel like we're being unreasonable if we don't. The posts themselves are specifically about misogyny, but the content applies easily and naturally to all cultural "othering". It's insidious stuff.

P.

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I can't watch the ads because they lock up my computer, but it seems as if they are touting Plan B as a primary birth control! "Get a Real Plan"??? Plan B should never be someone's "real plan" for birth control. I know girls who rely on Plan B or ghetto Plan B (4-6 regular birth control pills taken together) and they are simply idiots who DO need to "get a Real Plan"--that doesn't involve emergency contraception.

Plan B becomes less effective the more often you take it, is expensive, can make you sick, and isn't as effective as other birth control methods. That's why it's only for emergencies.

I agree... I considered using plan B in the past, but never did for these reasons. It *shouldn't* be used as a Plan B... I was actually on birth control & used a condom but I was still paranoid LOL. Ultra cautious... I decided it wasn't necessary. I may do so in the future but it should NEVER be used as a 'plan' ... plan B pills are used because you FAILED to plan (i.e. by responsibly taking birth control pills, etc.)

Anyway..it's all in the marketing. I don't agree with it, but I understand they want to get a certain message across... I am also offended by how they depict asexuals but they probably only say that becuase 99% of people (esp using this pill) are sexual, and they prob don't even know asexuals actually exist. The media is so warped... you can't expect sensitivity in society or that business especially. I'm sorry... wish we could, but I've since learned that society is cruel and misguided. I also have an OCD, and apparently Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend had the same one... her LAWYER said "she can't have it as she's normal" (so "normal" people can't have OCDs??) and the media made it out to be like she's crazy, they even got the description wrong... I was soo mad after reading thhe article but it just made me realize that anyone who is a little 'different' from society will be marginalized and treated in the media as well. I'm sort of glad i'm not a celebrity.

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I'm not offended by this per se

More annoyed by the eye-roll inducing dumb contained in both the message and the misrepresentation. This is a pretty classic case of ignorance and bothering to check your facts!

'Real plan'? Honestly!?

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This is an ad by a pharmaceutical company.

It's offensive and it's also very smart marketing. They're not interested in being factual or sensitive. They're interested in selling stuff, and they figure that people will think that asexuals (just as a-everything else, as in "not interested in stuff) don't have any fun and therefore nobody would want to be like that.

And since we don't have any visibility as being a specific orientation, they can get away with it, whereas nobody could market something by slamming homosexuality now.

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I do find the ad upsetting. The worst part about it that a quick google search could have stopped an effective advertisement from becoming an offensive one.

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And they would have to use those colors too, wouldn't they. :rolleyes:

If I had any more spare time that I don't have I would send them a complaint. As it is, it's very offensive. I can think of so many better and more creative ads that don't offend anyone but they had to go with this crap.

@ Vogue- Don't even get me started on how OCD among others is portrayed by people who don't have it. I just love how it's become a synonym for "nitpicky" or "organized" in movies, television shows, etc.

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Don't even get me started on how OCD among others is portrayed by people who don't have it. I just love how it's become a synonym for "nitpicky" or "organized" in movies, television shows, etc.

"Monk" really gave OCD a bad name.

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Holy crap, that was fast, guys! I'm glad to hear people are writing to them.

I totally agree that Plan B is exactly what it says: Plan /B/. It's supposed to be for if the condom breaks or something.

The they didn't even use a definition of asexual people are familiar with. The just took the Latin root A- meaning not or away from and stuck it on there. The researchers at Plan B didn't do a very good job.

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And since we don't have any visibility as being a specific orientation, they can get away with it, whereas nobody could market something by slamming homosexuality now.

http://adage.com/adreview/post?article_id=129767

Dear John:

Two years ago, from BBDO, Detroit, came the spot for the macho subcompact Dodge Caliber. It featured a burly tough guy snorting the words "silly little fairy" at a Tinkerbell-like pixie, only to be magic-wanded into a mincing, sweater-draped girly man. The execs at Dodge and BBDO said the connection between a storybook fairy and the epithet "fairy" never occurred to anyone in the organization. But, of course, they were lying.

In January 2007, from TBWA, New York, there was the Snickers Super Bowl ad: two auto mechanics, chewing on opposite ends of a candy bar till meeting in an accidental kiss. The incident struck them as so repulsively gay they commenced trying to cleanse themselves via a chest-hair-ripping display of manliness. The accompanying website offered alternate endings, such as one guy attacking the other with a wrench.

Now, from AMV BBDO, London, another Snickers spot, in which a butt-wiggling race walker is just too effeminate for Mr. T's liking. The snarling scourge of all things sissified chases after the guy in a pickup. "You a disgrace to the man race!" he bellows. "It's time to run like a real man!" -- whereupon the terrorized wimp is mowed down with a candy-spewing Gatling gun and admonished to "Get some nuts!"

The pun behind the campaign is obvious, adolescent and unfunny. The sentiment behind it is simply sick. John: three Omnicom agencies, three outrages. It is time for you to intervene.

The Super Bowl ad, at least, was grounded in something real. It wasn't exactly homophobic; it was about homophobia and men's deepest sexual fears about themselves. Why that issue would be the stuff of candy-bar advertising is an open question, and a good one, but there was nothing genuinely malevolent in the televised spot. This new Mr. T commercial -- like the online wrench attack -- is explicitly malevolent and beyond the pale. So unseemly, so perverse, so beneath you.

This is from your own statement on corporate responsibility: "As a leader in the communications industry, Omnicom Group is committed to ensuring that we use our position to promote socially responsible policies and practices and that we make positive contributions to society across all of our operations." Is that so? My guess is that the parents of Matthew Shepard, the Wyoming college student beaten to death for being too effeminate to suit his killers, would take a different view. Because your commercial is just a cartoonish recapitulation of their son's brutal murder.

Since you are the executive ultimately in charge of both TBWA and BBDO, I ask you: How could you be so insensitive, how could you be so shallow, and how could you be so mean?

This letter is to you, but it is equally to your colleagues throughout the industry. Are you so bereft, of ideas and simple humanity, that you must be reduced to stereotyping and bullying? That you must identify an "other" to ridicule, or worse? That you must build a brand on the backs of people who have harmed no one save for challenging a high-school locker-room standard of masculinity?

Stop the dehumanizing stereotypes. Stop the jokey violence. There is no place in advertising for cruelty. Pull the campaign. Do it now. Then tell your agencies how to behave. Or else.

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I do find the ad upsetting. The worst part about it that a quick google search could have stopped an effective advertisement from becoming an offensive one.

That's true, but like the person above said... marketing companies don't care about being "sensitive" unless their target group will be hurt by its insensitivity. As most teens/20-year-old somethings having one-night stands don't care about asexuality or never heard of it, their target audience isn't affected, and they can get away with it.

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And since we don't have any visibility as being a specific orientation, they can get away with it, whereas nobody could market something by slamming homosexuality now.

http://adage.com/adreview/post?article_id=129767

Dear John:

Two years ago, from BBDO, Detroit, came the spot for the macho subcompact Dodge Caliber. It featured a burly tough guy snorting the words "silly little fairy" at a Tinkerbell-like pixie, only to be magic-wanded into a mincing, sweater-draped girly man. The execs at Dodge and BBDO said the connection between a storybook fairy and the epithet "fairy" never occurred to anyone in the organization. But, of course, they were lying.

In January 2007, from TBWA, New York, there was the Snickers Super Bowl ad: two auto mechanics, chewing on opposite ends of a candy bar till meeting in an accidental kiss. The incident struck them as so repulsively gay they commenced trying to cleanse themselves via a chest-hair-ripping display of manliness. The accompanying website offered alternate endings, such as one guy attacking the other with a wrench.

Now, from AMV BBDO, London, another Snickers spot, in which a butt-wiggling race walker is just too effeminate for Mr. T's liking. The snarling scourge of all things sissified chases after the guy in a pickup. "You a disgrace to the man race!" he bellows. "It's time to run like a real man!" -- whereupon the terrorized wimp is mowed down with a candy-spewing Gatling gun and admonished to "Get some nuts!"

The pun behind the campaign is obvious, adolescent and unfunny. The sentiment behind it is simply sick. John: three Omnicom agencies, three outrages. It is time for you to intervene.

The Super Bowl ad, at least, was grounded in something real. It wasn't exactly homophobic; it was about homophobia and men's deepest sexual fears about themselves. Why that issue would be the stuff of candy-bar advertising is an open question, and a good one, but there was nothing genuinely malevolent in the televised spot. This new Mr. T commercial -- like the online wrench attack -- is explicitly malevolent and beyond the pale. So unseemly, so perverse, so beneath you.

This is from your own statement on corporate responsibility: "As a leader in the communications industry, Omnicom Group is committed to ensuring that we use our position to promote socially responsible policies and practices and that we make positive contributions to society across all of our operations." Is that so? My guess is that the parents of Matthew Shepard, the Wyoming college student beaten to death for being too effeminate to suit his killers, would take a different view. Because your commercial is just a cartoonish recapitulation of their son's brutal murder.

Since you are the executive ultimately in charge of both TBWA and BBDO, I ask you: How could you be so insensitive, how could you be so shallow, and how could you be so mean?

This letter is to you, but it is equally to your colleagues throughout the industry. Are you so bereft, of ideas and simple humanity, that you must be reduced to stereotyping and bullying? That you must identify an "other" to ridicule, or worse? That you must build a brand on the backs of people who have harmed no one save for challenging a high-school locker-room standard of masculinity?

Stop the dehumanizing stereotypes. Stop the jokey violence. There is no place in advertising for cruelty. Pull the campaign. Do it now. Then tell your agencies how to behave. Or else.

Woooo. :redface: Certainly shows that if you're not a member of a specific minority, you may not be paying attention to stuff being thrown at that specific group. Gatto, you are definitely on the case.

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OP; yes, it's as offensive as all Hell.

These are two good posts about how we're indoctrinated to accept marginalisation of minorities, and made to feel like we're being unreasonable if we don't. The posts themselves are specifically about misogyny, but the content applies easily and naturally to all cultural "othering". It's insidious stuff.

P.

Those are great posts, thanks for linking them. I agree that the ad is offensive to asexuals, makes women look like idiots, and is irresponsible as far as birth control choices are concerned.

What did people write in their letters?

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What did people write in their letters?

Yeah! I'd love to see them!

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Yeah, I found this pretty offensive, which is a rare thing for me...

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I (don't) love the insinuation that 'asexual' means the same thing as 'asocial' and is therefore 'a-everything'. After all, stupidity reasons, asexuality is the absence of having a real life! Therefore real people with real lives use this brand of birth control! Genius! In every way that really isn't!

The reason you may be inclined to feel hesitant to be offended is that asexuality isn't a particularly well-established special-interest group and there's a huge social stigma against being offended towards anything in case you are perceived as - shock, horror! - lacking a 'sense of humour'. Which, naturally, we asexuals don't have because we're a-everything. Oh, vomitting bloody hell.

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You seem a tad a-poplectic.

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Wow, that's pretty offensive, especially how it suggests that if you're asexual you're "a-everything". I don't have sex, therefore I can't have a social life! Quick, someone put me out of this misery!

-sniffles and grabs shotgun- ;m;

We all knew this day would come eventually... We just never knew how soon 'eventually' really was.

[/sillymoment]

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You seem a tad a-poplectic.

I'm sure we're all a-pologetic and hope nobody takes it a-miss. But unlike the writer of the ad at least we're not a-holes.

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You seem a tad a-poplectic.

I'm sure we're all a-pologetic and hope nobody takes it a-miss. But unlike the writer of the ad at least we're not a-holes.

*giggle* I see what you did there

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Woooo. :redface: Certainly shows that if you're not a member of a specific minority, you may not be paying attention to stuff being thrown at that specific group. Gatto, you are definitely on the case.

It's easy to miss the ads that are specifically insulting to homosexuality. Not because they are overwhelmed by the proportion of ads that are specifically respectful, but because very rarely do advertisements in the mainstream media refer to homosexuality at all. It's still a touchy subject. I can only think of a few ads that even hint at or suggest homosexuality (at least on prime time network TV, which I admittedly don't view a lot of; probably there are more on, say, Logo). There were the snickers ads, the Mr. T. one being more of an insult towards "sissy" type men than homosexuals per se. The Dockers "nice pants" ad where the burly biker takes the guys pants was suggestive in a playful but ambiguous way. I guess sometimes you see ads like these because they are a bit shocking or just so odd that the idea is to grab people's attention, to "cut through the clutter", as they say; if there were lots of them, they'd just be clutter.

As far as the Plan B ad, of course that is insulting (more so to women than to asexuality, IMO). A lot of people complain about advertisements for being so insulting, and seem to think that you can't sell a product if you insult your customers. "Oh, that ad would never persuade me!" people will say.

What the hell is that woman doing. I couldn't stand to look at the video. I'm a grandma and on behalf of all intelligent grandmas I resent such stereotyping by Cheerios. Whatever stereotyping it was.

I'll make oatmeal from now on. -_-

I've been thinking about advertising quite a bit lately, in a sort of disinterested, anthropological fashion. I've come to the conclusion that that sentiment kind of misses the point. Advertising can be both insulting and effective, and even, in particular (and perhaps ironically, though perhaps not), effective upon those whom it insults the most. That's my opinion, at least. Probably even a lot of those who are actually in the business would disagree; they would say they don't intent to insult their customers. But this may be a case where we have differing opinions on just what exactly an insult is.

A quote from Theodore Dalrymple:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

I think that I would agree with this statement about communist propaganda; I think it is true, and no less so if those who created and disseminated the propaganda actually did mean to persuade, convince and inform. There are forces at work which can be manipulated by human agency without humans being conscious of them. But the statement doesn't only apply to communist propaganda; it works equally well to describe all sorts of propaganda (advertisement) whether with respect to politics or religion of almost any flavor, and surely commercial solicitation.

If you tear someone down and convince him he is worthless, then it's a lot easier to sell the idea that Productâ„¢ will make things right. No self-respecting individual would treat his consumer choices and product preferences as an essential part of his personal identity. Yet, sadly, normal people do just that, with great frequency.

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