Friday, January 22, 2010

Rapey ads

This woman has difficulty talking to her friends about rape. But she has no problem wearing a t-shirt that says 'Wake up to rape' in gold caps, in an advert, on the capital's mass transit system.

This campaign is merely a low-rent version of the breast cancer awareness women in t-shirts meme.

I think you know your headline has misfired, if can be misread by early morning rapists as an encouragement. I suppose you can't argue with the stats: most men have committed two rapes by the time they get to work.

Rape is a thorny issue. Its treatment requires sensitivity. Advertising grabs your attention through a total insentivity to your situation. Advertising and rape have always had an uneasy relationship for this reason. Both are non-consensual. In the 70s you could write a headline that said 'Which of these men would be best at rape' and they'd give you a pencil.

This isn't the only rape-ad on the underground at the moment. There's the 'Please no no oh god no please stop taking illegal minicabs ad', which manages to be both harrowing and smug.

Unless the copywriter was being forcibly sodomised by his creative director until he came up with a line I find it insulting to a) all men b) all rape victims. Much better than TBWA's classic 'If you want to know the true cost of an illegal minicab, ask a rape victim'. Which demanded the question, haven't they suffered enough?

Editor's note: We first heard the adjective 'rapey' used by Canadian stand-up Tony Law in 2004. Since then it has been sucked up by the zeitgeist to such a degree that it was even used in tawdry imbecile comedy The Hangover.


Anonymous said...

'Wake up to rape' written on her t-shirt is surely just encouragement! Unreal.

Anonymous said...

what's next?

"stop, no, stop, please stop wearing miniskirts and walking around late at night"

those adverts make my blood boil

Anonymous said...

Wake up to the harrowing, muffled shrieks of live rapes guaranteed to kick-start your day! Wake up to Rape FM

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