How Does Something Like This Slip Through?

Whatever side you come down on in the debate about ethnic shops vs. so-called general-market shops or multicultural vs. cross-cultural, we can agree on one thing: Having a diverse work force can prevent bone-headed, potentially offensive ideas from slipping through.

In recent weeks, I’ve heard below-the-line rumblings about Burger King and State Farm ads featuring African-American actors.

The BK spot is set in a club and features — well, it’s too stupid to describe. (I’ve embedded it way below.) A few folks on Facebook thought the club-land setting and aggressive male verged on stereotype. I heard a couple of comments complaining about the nagging-woman stereotype in State Farm’s ad. (Also below.)

We can argue back and forth about this, but I don’t think the stereotypes in either case were based on race. Clueless, aggressive man and nagging woman are pretty stock, color-blind characters in attempts at humor. (Just ask all those poor, aggrieved white men who complain that the white dad is always portrayed as a dolt and an idiot in U.S. advertising).

Read the entire article at AdAge.

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