In 2006, Sony used the above image to promote its Sony PSP handheld. It quickly got picked up by the blogosphere and, soon enough, Sony issued an apology for the racially charged ad.
This ad is why I don’t believe the Illamasqua ignorance defense. This ad is why I believe Illamasqua, instead, engaged in race-baiting for profit. Illamasqua is a multinational corporation that generates millions of dollars in revenue annually
The blackface ad was not made by some ill-educated high school student. It was produced by an advertising agency. Staffed by educated, sophisticated professionals with a more-than-working knowledge of western society and what appeals and does not appeal to western society. This includes a knowledge of what tropes may be dated or appear to be offensive, sexist, and/or racist.
Ads like this get circulated every few years.
It’s called the internet. You can do research with it and spread images around the world with it.
There is a term for this type of marketing: disruptive marketing. And ad agencies that do stuff like this know exactly what they’re doing.
The tldr is this:
THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THE ILLAMASQUA AD KNEW PRECISELY WHAT BLACKFACE IS AND WHAT BLACKFACE MEANS CULTURALLY
"We didn’t mean this to be racist" is hogwash. Either they intended it to be racist or knew that it was racist and did not care. This "we had no idea this would happen" is malarkey, pure and simple. It is pablum that should be dismissed out of hand.
The question isn’t the sensitivity of those offended. The question is the insensitivity of those who produced and approved the ad. Illamasqua knew this would happen and are now issuing a nopology while coasting on the added exposure.
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