A wise man once said nothing at all
Ok, yes I did just quote Drake to open this blog post (I mean, who doesn’t quote Drake at least once in their life?!) But, I really do stand by that quote and whenever something riles me online it’s the first thing that comes to my mind. I’m sure you’ve noticed a recent spike in brands pulling questionable PR stunts recently. Whether it’s promoting a fatphobic TV programme or candy that suppresses cravings, it seems like public outrage is ‘on trend’ when it comes to marketing.
We’re stuck in an endless cycle of quote tweeting (and sub-tweeting) the things that rile us online. And, the more I reflect on it the more damage I think this actually causes. There’s things that have come onto my radar purely through outraged people drawing attention to them, and I have to admit the more people talk about something the more my interest is piqued, and even if I don’t agree with it the more likely I am to want to view/try it.
So, I’ve come to the conclusion that silence is golden. In the majority of cases it’s better to just say nothing at all, and not draw attention to these programmes or products. The less a product sells (or a programme is viewed) the less likely it will continue to be produced, so the less attention we draw to these things, the better.
I’m sure you’ve all heard this phrase before! And it really is true. While it made be clear to us why something is problematic, and we may have no temptation to buy/watch something, that’s not necessarily true for all people and the more we engage with content we dislike, the more likely other people will find it who may be vulnerable to the message being shared.
We can’t assume that everyone is immune to marketing tactics (or that they will side with our outrage over the brand’s campaign) so I honestly think that it’s often better to turn a blind eye to the things that we think are morally wrong. If you really feel the need to say something, it’s often better to raise your concerns with a regulating board, such as Ofcom or the ASA. Encourage other who are equally offended to do the same, rather than drawing more undeserved attention to the content.