I have no answer to these questions, as I am neither well-connected nor particularly well-informed. What I'm interested in is how often recently those same alternatives have arisen as competing explanations for regrettable human behaviours. The ignorant/corrupt alternatives, I mean, not the failing to notice mystery compound/ purposefully terrorist-harbouring ones.
Recently, an ad agency in Brazil created what it appeared to think was an appropriate and inspired series of print ads for Kia. Here's one of them (click on it for a larger version):
It's unclear how, exactly, Kia was associated with this agency, and surprisingly enough, even the fact that these ads won the Silver Lion at the Cannes advertising awards doesn't seem to make Kia want to be more associated with this agency.
It's clear the ads are juxtaposing wholesome Disney-type animation with racy adult-themed animation to create what they believe to be a comic effect. Were they too stupid to realize that the teacher-student ad would make viewers feel as though their brains had been flattened into cakes of manure? Were they fully aware of the manure-cake effect and cynically determined to exploit it to get attention?
Then there's the now-defunct campaign from the California Milk Processor Board, which makes delightful jokes about how hard it is for clueless, long-suffering men to put up with their hysterical lady-friends before Their Time of the Month. Apparently, calcium helps with PMS, and as milk has calcium, men should buy a lot of it to stop their girlfriends from being such bitches.
I realize that Osama bin Laden and offensive ad campaigns are not comparable. It's not those things I'm comparing, but my response to them. It's just discouraging to keep coming across off-putting things and to repeatedly think: "The people who did this might not be unscrupulous and manipulative; they might just be really dumb." It's discouraging when profoundly stupid is the best-case scenario.
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