Speaking out with stickers
Mako’s recent post about a laptop sticker reminded me of an experience I had riding the London Underground earlier this year. On my way home from work one day, as I was thinking about other things, I happened to read the text on one of the many advertisements posted inside the train car. While gender offences in advertising are regrettably common, this one was so overt that it caught my attention and made me feel embarrassed at reading it.
The text, next to the smirking face of a man, reads in full:
Chris had a long face. The wife wanted a new family car and this had the potential to blow a huge hole in his finances, not to mention the other plans he had for his money.
A little bird told him to get down to Cargiant where he bought a quality used car that kept the wife more than happy and saved himself a tidy little sum in the process. Just enough for a weekend in Paris…
…with the girlfriend, tweet, tweet!
“Chris” beams at us with a joy that could only come from the combined pleasures of pacifying his wife, protecting “his” money from her, and spending the savings on casual infidelity. Was it simply ignorant, or a failed attempt at humour? Either way, the message was not one I was glad to receive.
At the time, all I thought to do was complain to the company, who offer a feedback form on their website. If only I’d had a pocketful of clever stickers, like the ones offered by Sticker Giant (whose name is curiously similar to that of the advertiser) or the more unassuming Sticker Sisters.
After all, it would be much more effective to send a message to other readers of the advert as well as its creators. I felt embarrassed when I saw it because it made me wonder whether the people around me considered this to be normal and acceptable content. Seeing an angry sticker on it would have let me know that I was not alone in my objection. Stickers are good for more than just graffiti.