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21 July 2008

Red cross campaign update - for anyone curious. The massive outcry against that China/olympics campaign made Red Cross headquarters ask Stockholm to pull the campaiugn, which they did.[More:]Also, for the first time ever I closed a thread for new comments and got nothing but hate mail for it so I left off reporting this update for the entire weekend (it was news on Friday) just to prevent yet another flameout thread.
Score one for appeasement, yeah! Peace for our time, wot?

Here's a couple treats from a less gutless Redd Kross.
posted by Hugh Janus 21 July | 09:18
I found it rather interesting to watch (before it just became a flamefest galore, or rather, gore) as it was linked from so many Chinese forums and the likes. Boy can they drive traffic! No non-chinese major websites seemed to give a flying toss.
posted by dabitch 21 July | 09:39
(the discussion might have been less one-sided had it been linked from big other sites I mean. )
posted by dabitch 21 July | 09:40
Because so much of the internet is censored in China, controversial topics that do make it through get that much more attention. And since popular opinion in China supports crushing Tibet, it's a double whammy: an ad campaign that's correct in its content but not in its sources gets smacked down by campaign not specifically but essentially organized by the Chinese government.

If the Red Cross weren't just kowtowing to the money (and the future of money), they'd go get photos of the same stuff going on inside Tibet, with real Chinese cops beating real Tibetan monks, and make an international ad campaign out of it. Instead, they listen to their well-paid PR hacks and apologize to people who do things that the Red Cross has at least a pretense of taking a stand against. They'll probably go even further and reprimand, demote, or even fire the guys responsible for the campaign. Can't let those ratings slip.

The Red Cross' retraction is akin to saying, We can save more lives if we work with the killers, not against them. It's no wonder that I think the animals and plants would be better off without us.
posted by Hugh Janus 21 July | 10:13
The Red Cross were drowning in emails from people who read those posts on Adland (the chinese forums linked), what if the Red Cross get the same amount of emails from people who think like you - that they should do the same campaign internationally but with correct images - would they do an international campaign? Course, you'd need to get that many people as exited about it and I don't think this type of thing would ever make it boingboing or even the brainy blue.

I don't think they would actually, since the Red Cross is supposed to be unpolitical. They're not Amnesty International, the red cross is supposed to help everyone and nothing else. This campaign, and the fact that the red cross youth in Stockholm host human rights talks with Falun Gong members is really ruining the whol "totally neautral" image that the red cross really should keep.
posted by dabitch 21 July | 10:20
I guess that's right. Neutrality is what they're going for. I shouldn't expect anything more from them. They're not meant to be political.

But then, neutrality is how all that Nazi loot found its way into Swiss pockets, right? I wish they'd take a stand. The modern pretense of unpoliticalness and lack of bias disgusts me. It's all about money; humanity be damned.
posted by Hugh Janus 21 July | 10:31
Yeah that's true.

Ego bothers me too. There was for a bit a discussion whether Swedish athletes should not go to the Olympics. Well, there's the neutrality again and the athletes said "but I just want to compete against the worlds best and in four years I may be past my best" etc. Come again?
posted by dabitch 21 July | 10:41
The Olympics, as far as I can tell, are like Native American lacrosse: a surrogate for war. They're played in order to establish a pecking order of sorts among nations, and to show off the might or largesse of the host. So's the (soccer) World Cup. An extremely exciting, eminently watchable political event.

Like in war, there are heroes; individuals who are recognized for valor beyond the call of duty. But the athletes themselves are by and large quadrennially replaceable parts.

These athletes who crow about "their chance" and "all the work they did to prepare" imagine themselves an Alvin York or an Audie Murphy before they ever enter the trenches. That's ego talking. Can you imagine what heroes they'd be if they refused to play in a tainted Games? Why, someone (other than themselves) might actually consider them a hero. Hell, I would. Some things are worth more than ourselves.

I guess you can tell, I won't be watching the Olympics this time around. Even though the events themselves are pretty awesome. The pool will be filled with blood, and the track crowded with ghosts; the sponsors will get rich and end up in hell.

≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by Hugh Janus 21 July | 11:01
Oh yeah, that salute was awesome. The Olympics were always political.
posted by dabitch 21 July | 11:10
ugh, great, now the chinese outraged guys are back, just when I needed to go to bed. Crap.
posted by dabitch 21 July | 14:40
Maybe we should send a contingent of MetaFilter snarkers in to clean out the Chinese trolls. Where did I put my Adland login info?
posted by wendell 21 July | 15:52
And comparing your comment moderation to that on Boing Boing (especially on a similar topic) makes me feel you're not being enough of a bitch.
posted by wendell 21 July | 18:09
Olympics aside, I find it so fascinating to see how people who have been raised in a society where true free expression is crushed react when they come up against an opinion their society would not support.

I must say, seeing the zeal and enthusiasm that is applied to crushing opinions from foreigners that they themselves would never be allowed by their own government to voice does not give me much hope for the expansion of rights in China.
posted by kellydamnit 21 July | 23:02
oooh, wendell - Boingboing calls the French Cannes Bronze Lion winner a hoax? That's interesting, in that case it should be stripped of the Cannes award. TBWA New York denied knowledge about the ad, but I don't think it's been named a hoax yet.

You have a login? Weee!

Not sure how much of a bitch I should be. My rule is only to delete spammers without mercy (I kill their accounts on first spam and sometimes before they even spam - if they name is "buy viagra online" and it's duh, obvious) but I don't mess with other people. Consistent posting of repeated (same) comments and with lots of URL's gets their IP's automatically banned (which clearly happened to big Phew, so now he's angry with me). I'm a bit lost as to what to do but that guy really need a chill-pill.

Then again, his comments are washing away any sympathy that the original guy got, the guy that managed to find that the images were from the wrong place. Ad people don't like dumb mistakes made in ads either.

I closed the other two posts of comments. I don't like doing that.
posted by dabitch 22 July | 01:08
(oh and if y'all think it's bad on my site you should see what they are doing email-campaign wise and in the forums that are hosted by The Youth Red Cross Stockholm, and red cross elsewhere. It's really sad.)
posted by dabitch 22 July | 01:10
makes me feel you're not being enough of a bitch.

OOoh, but I did get called a bitch. Does that count? (and for what? The idiot got caught in the spam-trap for excessive/repeat commenting. Like that's my fault.)
posted by dabitch 22 July | 04:06
Looks like I'm going to have to close comments on all topics regarding ads involving China or from China soon if this keeps up. Jesus H christ what a pain this is. Remind me to never write about anything that involves China in the future.
posted by dabitch 22 July | 08:47
Unfortunately, that's exactly what that mob wants. It's like a DoS attack.

Since they don't have truth on their side, they just orchestrate noise and destroy discourse. Like CoS.

I don't know if the medium we're on has any safeguards against this. It seems like all you can do is clean up after the fact, or close comments. It's funny to see people using free speech to quash free speech.

By funny I mean depressing. Long way yet to go, China.
posted by Hugh Janus 22 July | 09:05
Depressing is the word.
posted by dabitch 22 July | 09:21
I went to the Red Cross/Crescent (but still not Magen David) museum today. A document with Hebrew letters was labeled as being from Palestine without giving the specific location(if there had been a map depicting exactly where in the region, I would not be as disturbed--I think both countries have a right to exist and that compensation should be given to the families who lost their homes). The reason given for doing little with the concentration camps in WW2 was that they did not want to jeopardize their contacts with prisoners of war.
posted by brujita 23 July | 16:46
Which museum? The one in Washington with the awesome stairs and stained glass windows? (I will admit at being utterly clueless as to where there might be others, except Geneva where the MUST be one)

Last night they (some of the jerks that is) upped the hate-ante with phonecalls at three am making me feel extra special. It ended up in the Swedish tradepess today. I'm really tired now.
posted by dabitch 23 July | 17:25
You're invited to a Sandwich Party! || It's still going on.