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Cable News Charnel - The Baffler

As usual, the private sector is certain that it can do the government's job more nimbly and efficiently. In a recent column, Rance Crain, editor in chief of Advertising Age--one of the foremost trade publications for America's most self-regarding content-creators--argued that to combat the forces of extremism, America's creatives must metaphorically enlist in the fight. The headline: "To Battle Isis' Message, We'll Need Slickly Produced Content That's Just as Compelling." Like any good evangelist, Crain set the stage for his big takeaway with a confession of crippling doubt and weakness. Yes, dear readers, our ad savant had previously questioned Madison Avenue's ability to make a dent in the war on radical Islam, but his readers set him straight:

After my first ISIS column ran, I got an email from Stephen Feldman, CEO of Feldman Integrated Marketing, challenging my notion that advertising wouldn't change minds in such a standoff: "An industry that spends over $500 billion per year to inform, educate, persuade and sell cannot change any minds?"

It's a fair point. The ad wizards who convinced a nation that Subway is health food have a proven ability to fight wars of competing ideas. But are they up to this particular task? Crain's modern-day Don Drapers go on to suggest that someone create an anti-ISIS video celebrating "non-violent" Muslim heroes, featuring "a powerful music track created by a global artist in collaboration with a young Muslim star." And then, perhaps, the Coca-Cola polar bears can shuffle endearingly into the scene to tell the kids to stay in school (unless, obviously, that school is a radical madrassa).

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 10:30:44 PM EST

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