Big Mistake Sony – Bad Advertisment, Racist Company?
Well, I am not sure I know what Sony is thinking. On the other hand, I think I know exactly what they are thinking and it is totally distasteful. It is, I am sure, abundantly clear to any company doing business in America, that there are several hot-button topics to be avoided in advertising. Actually these topics should be avoided in business pretty much entirely.
Sony has crossed a line here, with African-Americans, and most Americans in general with this latest ad: Sony's New PSP Ad – July 4, 2006.
In the ad obviously Sony knows exactly what they are doing. Claiming the they don't understand the American market to know that this is going to cause a problem doesn't cut it. I am curious as to who at Sony approved this advertising campaign. In the link on the page above, the full ad clearly goes further, depicting a full struggle between what, one must assume, are two models fighting.
I don't usually cry about stuff like this, and I am not now. I just think that global companies have a responsibility to think and act globally, and responsibly. This is an irresponsible and disgraceful act by a company that should be ashamed of itself.
If there was any question before as to whether or not I would be buying the PS3, I think Sony answered that question for me. In fact, until Sony retracts that advertisement globally and issues an apology to America I will not buy any additional Sony equipment. The XBox360, while ugly, has decent functionality and it being cheaper, and acting as a media center extender had it in the lead for my dollars anyway. You as a reader might say, “so what you won't by Sony stuff.” Well, the only way consumers can speak to companies is with their money.
I don't know if Sony is indeed racist. I'd probably say not, I think they realize they are standing on their last foot and think they need any press they can get. I think this kind of press they don't want because it will ultimately cost them units. Remember Atari, Sony?
*Edit* I guess Sony withdrew the advertisement after the blogosphere went off on them. Unfortunately, the apology and the withdrawal 7 days later don't really make me feel any differently about them. They should have stopped the ad immediately, not after they got all types of bad press. That type of ignorance is inexcusable.