Tuesday 6 May 2008

Racist RTA advertising

It was big news over here last year when the RTA came out with a new advertisement about speeding. It generated a lot of controversy for a week or so, and then it disappeared from view.

As with most government advertising, it hasn't made any impact at all on behaviour. I don't know why ministers think that showing a few ads on TV will make people behave differently. The tobacco industry threw billions of dollars at all forms of advertising and promotion, until it was banned, and they never convinced more than 50% of the population to take up a highly addictive and socially wonderful habit. The womens magazine industry has also spent untold billions over decades trying to get women to shed a bit of flab, yet chicks get bigger by the year. The smartest brains on the planet have tried to get us to take up smoking and to lose weight, and neither was really that succesful.

I have one bone to pick with the RTA ad though - it is completely racist. All the young men depicted in it are decidely anglo-saxon. There is not one wog in a souped up BMW. There are no mad asians in Nissan's with wings like an F-15.

Where is multi-culturalism when you need it?

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