Tagged: commercial advertising

Law 17: The American-Algerian War

English (I) and French (II).

For the title section you must scroll down to the French part of this post, sorry, but you can also google the phrase to know more about this little-known event (from 1815 AD).

I

Meet the Reactionaries

Texas is First US State to Adopt IHRA Definition of Antisemitism. (i24news June 16, 2021)

This comes after Amawi v. Pflugerville Independent School District (April 2019), “a case in Texas where the plaintiffs had all faced potential or real loss of employment with the State of Texas for being unwilling to sign contracts promising not to participate in boycott activities against Israel.”

The Texan District Court held that “content based laws…are presumptively unconstitutional” and that “viewpoint-based regulations impermissibly ‘license one side of a debate’ and ‘create the possibility that the [government] is seeking to handicap the expression of particular ideas.’ It further asserted that the law the State had relied on, HB 89, was unconstitutional under the First Amendment.” (Wikipedia)

Governor Greg Abbott couldn’t have “his” anti-BDS law stand the judicial test (it was eviscerated) so he “adopts” a new definition of antisemitism. So what? As far as legal value is concerned his adopted definition is nonexistent. He could have repainted the state capitol instead and that would have been exactly as relevant in terms of positive law (with the difference that it would be something useful as buildings need new paint once in a while). Any attempt to give a positive legal value to the definition will be a major infringement on First Amendment rights, just like his anti-BDS law.

ii

As far as the American Jewish Congress’s remarks on … [a social platform beside Twitter and Facebook] in a Newsweek opinion called We need to stop Marjorie Taylor Greene’s online extremism before it gets violent are concerned, the authors examine two solutions.

One –the second discussed by them– is transparency about online fundraising. Why not? Yet do the authors really believe that transparency would be of any use against what they claim is their concern, namely that online speech incite violence? I fail to see how this would work (to be sure I only read the first two paragraphs, which were screenshot, of their paper).

Before looking at their second proposal, let us remember that under the American Constitution even speech that incites violence is protected if it is not “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action” (Brandenburg v. Ohio 1969). In my opinion that excludes all online speech to begin with, since then the people get the message through electronic devices, mostly sitting in a room with a computer, so the imminence criterion is lacking altogether (although with smartphones things could change in the future, if for instance we could see such a thing as a mob where individuals are both absorbed in their smartphones’ content and committing violence at the same time, which would be peculiar still).

The authors’ second proposal is to ban the platform. They write: “There are precedents in law where exceptions to the First Amendment regarding hate speech exist. ” I have no idea what precedents they have in mind (they do not name them here, if at all) but I know the current state of the law is Brandenburg v. Ohio, which does not support the idea of a ban. In fact there are no currently valid precedents at all. They would have to resort to the Espionage Act, as has been done with Julian Assange, but this is not even credible.

What they call for, then, is reviving precedents long fallen into disuse, in the spirit of the Sedition Act. I can see no other alternative. This is the most reactionary stuff I have read in a long time.

iii

As to the Anti Defamation League’s call to investigate … [same platform as above] “for possible criminal liability in Capitol attack,” it is preposterous. A platform cannot be held responsible for the content its users publish: this is SECTION 230 (as if people had not been talking at length about it recently!) (the section “provides immunity for website platforms from third-party content”: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”). So even if some people on … had posted content that was “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action” (the Brandenburg v. Ohio requirement for prosecuting speech), which must be what ADL has in mind, with the “lawless action” being the Capitol attack, Section 230 prevents the Justice Department from even considering to investigate … The slightest step in that direction would be a civil liberties case against the state.

This being said besides the fact that platform content cannot even be fancied to be “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action.” The Justice Department would have to prove that an internet post was likely to produce the Capitol attack by a crowd of people gathered on the spot. In any world with stable judicial rules of evidence this is not conceivable.

*

Coloradans Not Wanted

Many Companies Want Remote Workers—Except From Colorado. After a new state law that requires employers to disclose salaries for open positions, some are advertising jobs available anywhere in the U.S. but Colorado. (Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2021)

Companies must reveal salary information in job ads if Coloradans are eligible, so they now advertise their job positions in this way:

“This position may be done in NYC or Remote (but not in CO due to local CO job posting requirements” (DigitalOcean’s online post)

Yet seven states (unnamed in my source below) have laws that prohibit advertising discrimination based on “race, color, or creed”:

“Jews were denied welcome at hotels, resorts, public accommodations, and schools. In 1907 a hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, declined accommodations to an American Jewish woman. She complained to Louis Marshall, a lawyer and president of the American Jewish Committee. Marshall drafted a law that barred the printed advertising of discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of race, color, or creed. Enacted in 1913, this statute did not require hoteliers to rent rooms to all comers but prohibited the publication and dissemination of statements that advocated discriminatory exclusion. By 1930 seven states had adopted versions of the New York statute, making group rights a nascent category [nascent or rather stillborn] in First Amendment law.” (mtsu.edu First Amendment Encyclopedia: Group Libel [nonexistent])

This means in all other states you can advertise your business’s discriminatory choices legally. How common is this? And, in fact, why is this not more common? Is it ignorance of the law? Do people mistakenly believe they cannot make such advertisements?

ii

What about the constitutionality of these laws?

Here the author is quite obscure. She says: “Throughout the 1930s the laws remained untested in the courts. Marshall apparently preferred to field inquiries from resort owners about the legalities of their advertisements than to file lawsuits.”

In her first sentence “throughout the 1930s” seems to be saying that the laws were tested by courts but later, otherwise why limit the talk to the thirties? However the author says nothing about results of later constitutional challenges.

The second sentence seems to be saying, correct me if I’m wrong, that there never was any lawsuit based on one of these 7 (or 8, actually, the New York state law plus seven copycats, I’m not sure how to read “By 1930 seven states had adopted versions of the New York statute,” if that means 7 or 8 in total) and notwithstanding the fact there was not a single challenge in courts this man managed to have all such advertisements removed forever. Quite a feat indeed…

At that time commercial speech was not protected by the First Amendment, so constitutional challenges were bound to fail, the laws would have stood the test. This could explain why the hoteliers etc did not care to go to courts to defend their advertising and instead complied with the “inquiries” fielded by said lawyer. Today it is different: commercial speech is protected speech (at least it receives partial protection, not as broad as political speech but still) so, assuming these laws are still around (and this is more likely than the reverse, isn’t it?), challenging their constitutionality is more open-ended today.

*

American Child Labor

Conservatives would legalize child labor again if they could.

Child labor is legal in the U.S. at the date of this post.

“These regulations do not apply to agricultural labor because of outdated exemptions”: “Estimates by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity programs, based on figures gathered by the Department of Labor, suggest that there are approximately 500,000 child farmworkers in the United States. Many of these children start working as young as age 8, and 72-hour work weeks (more than 10 hours per day) are not uncommon. … Today’s farmworker children are largely migrant workers” (American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO)

Besides, “Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), workers under the age of 16 cannot work between 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., except during the summer. From June 1 to Labor Day, the prohibited hours are from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Once you’re 16, federal law no longer restricts what hours you can work.” Only the night shift is illegal for child workers.

ii

“Today’s farmworker children [estimated 500,000] are largely migrant workers.” Conservatives don’t have to legalize child labor again, they’ll keep crying about the border crisis while overworking Mexican children on their farms.

They legally work children below 14 in farms, family businesses, private homes for “minor chores,” newspaper delivery, and more sectors undisclosed in the sources I quoted.

A 14-year old is not a child according to U.S. labor law, while the International Labour Organization (ILO) has a 15-year old threshold.

While the federal minimum wage for adults is $7.25 per hour, for children it is $4.25 per hour. (See also prison inmates work, given the rates of inmates in the states: “By law, incarcerated workers do not have to be paid. Some states take this to heart. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas do not pay incarcerated workers for most regular jobs performed within the prison. Inmates in other states are not much better off, as most state prisoners earn between $0.12 and $0.40 per hour of work. Even if an inmate secures a higher-paying correctional industries job – which about 6% of people incarcerated in state prisons do – they still only earn between $0.33 and $1.41 per hour.” (Corporate Accountability Lab, Aug 2020)

American companies outsource a large part of their industrial activity to China where “About 7.74 percent of children between the ages of 10-15 are laborers.” (The Borgen Project, Aug 2019) American law prevents Americans from knowing the figures of American companies’ job outsourcing.

*

Erasure of History Forum

Who remembers the Anti-Masonic Party?

The Wikipedia page lists more than 40 Congress members, including earlier President of the United States John Quincy Adams (MA)†, 2 state governors, William Palmer (VT) and Joseph Ritner (PA), and a host of other officials such as lieutenant governors.

†John Quincy Adams belonged to the Anti-Masonic Party from 1830 to 1834, he was a member of the Congress’s House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1831 to 1848, and President of the United States from 1825 to 1829.

II

Collectivisation : L’exemple de la santé

L’État français a un argument en béton pour rendre la vaccination contre le covid obligatoire : c’est que la sécurité sociale est collectivisée. En admettant (par hypothèse) que le vaccin est efficace, ce sont ceux qui refusent de se vacciner qui continueront de tomber malades. Ils représentent un coût pour le système collectivisé.

L’individu dont les dépenses de santé sont prises en charge par un régime collectivisé n’est pas libre de refuser un vaccin. La pandémie pourrait donc ouvrir le débat sur le démantèlement intégral de la sécurité sociale.

ii

Dans un État libéral, quand quelqu’un tombe malade, il n’attend rien de l’État. S’il est assuré, c’est auprès d’une compagnie privée, et s’il ne l’est pas (et n’a donc rien prélevé sur ses revenus entre deux dépenses de santé nécessitées par la situation), il a intérêt à avoir des économies ou bien il faut qu’il s’endette (comme quand il a acheté une voiture et un écran plasma).

Dès lors, on ne comprendrait pas qu’il y ait des obligations vaccinales dans un tel pays, les dépenses de santé étant privées. En effet, quand les dépenses de santé sont privées, les choix sont forcément individuels et on ne voit pas de quel droit l’État imposerait le vaccin puisque ceux qui le refusent en seront pour leurs seuls frais s’ils tombent malades tandis que ceux qui sont vaccinés sont immunisés par hypothèse. Si mon voisin est vacciné, il ne peut pas moralement me demander de l’être aussi puisqu’il ne risque plus rien et que mon refus n’emporte aucune conséquence pour lui.

L’obligation vaccinale est un pur produit de l’étatisation. Je souhaite que l’on reconsidère de manière très approfondie le principe même de la sécurité sociale au regard de cette collectivisation rampante.

(Je ne parle pas spécifiquement ici des vaccins anti-covid, dont certains dénoncent la supposée nocivité, mais de la question de l’obligation vaccinale en général, et ma conclusion est que, même en admettant que tous les vaccins sont toujours efficaces, l’obligation ne peut se justifier que dans des systèmes étatisés de sécurité sociale collectivisée.)

iii

Objection : Les caisses primaires d’assurance maladie (CPAM) ne sont pas des organismes d’État.

Réponse : Les CPAM remplissent « une mission de service public définie par l’État, telle que par exemple les services d’immatriculation et d’affiliation. » Ce qui est défini par l’État est étatisé.

O. Le droit des contrats est défini par l’État. Donc, selon cette logique, les contrats entre personnes privées seraient étatisés?

R. Le droit des contrats repose aussi sur la coutume commerciale et la définition de mon interlocuteur (« le droit des contrats est défini par l’État ») est en soi de l’étatisme pur.

« Le projet de loi de financement de la Sécurité sociale (LFSS) est déposé par le gouvernement au plus tard le 15 octobre à l’Assemblée nationale. » La question ici porte sur les raisons qui font qu’un régime « paritaire » a son centre opérationnel dans un texte de loi (la LFSS annuelle). La réponse ne peut être que la suivante : c’est parce que le régime est étatisé.

D’ailleurs, la Caisse nationale qui chapeaute les CPAM est un établissement public administratif (« définissant au niveau national la politique de l’assurance maladie en France »).

Mais je pourrais en réalité me passer d’introduire la moindre considération sur la LFSS. La comparaison de mon interlocuteur avec le droit des contrats est tout simplement fautive car ce droit a bien des origines tandis qu’une mission de service public est entièrement définie par l’État.

Que les CPAM aient une certaine latitude de gestion va de soi, de même qu’un particulier chasseur mandaté par la préfecture pour exterminer des renards et autres « nuisibles » (mission de service public) s’y prend comme bon lui semble (dans le cadre des lois). Cela ne change rien à la question.

*

Un délit réservé aux Arabes et aux Noirs

Le délit d’incitation à la consommation de stupéfiants continue d’être poursuivi et condamné en justice. Mais seulement pour les rappeurs (Mister You, affaire de Villeurbanne 2020, affaire de Grenoble 2020, etc).

On pensait que ça n’existait plus, au moins depuis le non-lieu dans les années 90 pour le groupe (blanc) Billy Ze Kick et les Gamins en Folie, dénoncé pour sa chanson Mangez-moi ! (2e place du Top 50, explicitement sur les champignons hallucinogènes : « la chanson du psylo »). Mais non.

Montrez-moi un seul Blanc puni de ce crime ! –

Inspiré par l’achat du recueil Déplacements Dégagements du grand poète Henri Michaux, dont la présentation se lit : « Ses livres, proches du surréalisme, et cependant tout à fait singuliers, sont des poèmes, des descriptions de mondes imaginaires, des inventaires de rêves, une exploration des infinis créés par les substances hallucinogènes » (Présentation anonyme, Collection L’Imaginaire/Gallimard).

Qui d’entre nous, marchant au crépuscule sur la Colline du Crack et ressentant la mélancolie de sa finitude humaine, peut dire qu’il n’a jamais rêvé d’explorer les infinis ?

ii

La référence à la Colline du Crack doit être comprise à la lumière des précédents billets, où j’en ai déjà parlé (Law 9 et suivantes, en anglais).

Alors que la justice condamne l’incitation à la consommation, condamne des artistes, devant le problème de la Colline du Crack à Stalingrad (Paris 19), les autorités ne trouvent rien de mieux que de distribuer des pipes à crack et de payer des chambres d’hôtel.

iii

Un interlocuteur me transmet un jugement de la Cour d’appel de Niort.

À supposer que ce Nicolas R., condamné pour avoir mis à la vente à Niort des tee-shirts Cannabis Legalize It (c’est-à-dire un message reprenant l’un des points du programme d’au moins un parti politique représenté à l’Assemblée nationale et dans divers exécutifs locaux, cette condamnation signifiant en réalité qu’il n’est pas permis de demander de changer la loi, car c’est le sens des mots Legalize It, or aucune loi ne peut comporter une clause prévoyant l’impossibilité de son abrogation et par conséquent le jugement doit être cassé car c’est de l’instrumentalisation politique de la justice), soit Blanc, mon interlocuteur apporterait un démenti au titre de cette section. – Je répondrais que c’est l’exception qui confirme la règle. (Il faudrait demander à l’expert judiciaire Gabriel Matzneff ce qu’il en pense. Mais Nicolas R. ayant en fait été relaxé en appel, mon titre reste sans démenti pour ce qui est des condamnations.)

Mon interlocuteur évoquant par la même occasion le climat actuel, il m’offre l’opportunité d’évoquer une certaine affaire, pour un autre abus de procédure, bien que ce climat soit précisément opposé à toute forme d’expression telle que celle que je vais à présent oser.

Il s’agit de la condamnation d’un rappeur noir, Maka, à 15 mois de prison pour apologie de terrorisme, pour une chanson appelée Samuel Paty.

Le journal La Marne du 27 nov. 2020 (x) indique que la chanson « cherche selon eux [selon les juges] à ‘surfer sur la vague pour faire du buzz’ ». Il est donc totalement incompréhensible que cette personne soit condamnée pour apologie de terrorisme, les juges faisant eux-mêmes remarquer que la finalité de la chanson est tout autre, à savoir « faire du buzz ». L’incohérence est redoutable.

iv

Or demander de légaliser le cannabis, ce qui est forcément légal comme je l’ai souligné et comme la Cour d’appel l’a reconnu (la condamnation en première instance reste très choquante, tout comme l’étaient les poursuites), est une façon indirecte de promouvoir sa consommation. Car il n’y a eu que l’Église nationale danoise pour promouvoir en 1969 la légalisation de la pornographie (premier pays au monde) au prétexte que c’est parce qu’elle était interdite qu’elle attirait les gens et que donc ceux qui étaient contre la pornographie devaient demander sa légalisation.

Ainsi, la promotion de la légalisation ne pouvant s’exclure d’une forme de promotion de la consommation, la loi est d’une abominable stupidité car elle interdit et autorise en même temps la même chose. À bas toutes ces lois.

*

Au temps des manifestations #GiletsJaunes, le gouvernement cherchait à lancer des débats sur qui est journaliste. Je propose la définition suivante, d’une imparable logique interne :

Est journaliste toute personne condamnée en droit de la presse.

*

Histoire d’un mariole

Je reproche à Victor Hugo d’avoir écrit Napoléon-le-Petit. Je veux dire ce titre qui, en appelant Napoléon III le petit, laisse entendre que Napoléon Ier était grand. Non.

Il est certain que vous n’avez jamais entendu parler des guerres américano-barbaresques. Elles furent au nombre de deux : la première de 1801 à 1805 et la seconde, également appelée guerre américano-algérienne, en 1815. Dans la première les États-Unis d’Amérique et la Suède et dans la seconde les États-Unis seuls combattirent les États barbaresques d’Afrique du Nord (nos futures ex-colonies).

Les États-Unis d’Amérique et la Suède luttaient ainsi contre la piraterie en Méditerranée pendant que l’autre fou, qui avait causé la perte de notre flotte à Aboukir (1798), courait dans tous les sens en Europe et cherchait à faire un « blocus continental » pour empêcher les navires anglais d’aborder sur le continent.

Les États-Unis d’Amérique (!) – et la Suède (!) – devaient lutter contre des pirates maghrébins en Méditerranée, la mer qui borde nos côtes (!), pendant que nous avions un EMPIRE.

*

Si demain la France et les États-Unis se faisaient la guerre, je pense que l’on pourrait dire à l’avance en combien de minutes l’armée française serait anéantie. C’est pareil pour le droit. #FirstAmendment

Subliminal Advertising V: Vanity Fair (Without Thackeray)

After the April issue of Vanity Fair (Cases 24-32 from Subliminal Advertising IV), I thought the May issue would be interesting too, as regards sex embeds. Several ads from the April issue are also found on the May issue, like Case 24 and Case 25, and a few others that I didn’t bother to bring forward, so the subscriptors who receive the magazine each month, or the regular buyers, are sure to get their share of repeated exposure which is the main principle of advertising as a conditioning process.

Counting pages on both issues, I find 60 pages of commercial advertising out of an overall 172 pages in the April ‘special’ issue, and 46 pages out of an overall 148 in the May issue, which makes 34,9% and 31,1% respectively (the special, bigger issue has a greater proportion of advertisements), and this does not even include the back cover ads, infomercials, advertorials, ‘Fanfairs’, ‘Hot Tracks’, ‘My Stuff’, ‘Portraits’ of commercial artists selling their last outputs, and so on and so forth.

The seven case studies presented here outline, as previously, the sex embeds. One way to get the clearest picture of what is going on is to download the photographs focusing on the embeds, outlined and not (for instance, pictures 33-2 and 33-3 below), then opening both on your computer and shifting the mouse on the lower screen bar from one to the other, so that my delineation of the embed will project on the photograph and then leave it again according to the mouse’s movement, the photograph staying in place, as one is only the duplicate of the other plus the embeds outlined. This procedure will make the embeds obvious to the most impercipient, I believe.

Of course, if you don’t wish to download anything, it always helps to enlarge the pics by clicking on them, or even by enlarging the internet window through command ‘Ctrl plus +’ (press Ctrl and + at the same time, as many times as you want the window enlarged).

All this research on sex embeds doesn’t imply I am convinced they have potent effects or even have effects at all. However, even if the effect is unsure, as the technique costs little — or rather nothing since the graphic designer’s working time is compensated anyway and it makes no difference whether he or she’s adding shades or sparks or droplets or sex embeds — it seems that advertisers believe they ought to use the technique, and they do use it.

One final thought before the case studies. If advertising, as its advocates claim, is so important for our economy, then what a vibrant homage it is to artists, those (in the view of a few people who look at themselves as practical minds) ‘losers’! People working on ads have artistic training. At a time when middle management, even top management, is being increasingly performed by computers, and experts are being increasingly replaced by expert systems, i.e. computers, human artists are still needed to perform that part of the economy whose global revenues in 2010 amounted to 503 billion dollars worldwide (Shaver & An, Ed., The Global Advertising Regulation Handbook, 2014). Parents that discourage their kids’ artistic inclinations seem very injudicious to me, even according to their own materialistic standards, because kids may end up earning far much more working for advertising agencies than as accountants. In any case, what the advocates of advertisement’s claim amounts to is that our economy needs the artist more than the organization man, whose function is being automatized and computerized.

…………….Case 33 Louis Vuitton SEX

The lady is waiting on a pier with an extravagant profusion of luggage. The sex embed is on her boots. The signal on the tip of the pier reads ‘Privé Private Please.’ ‘Privé’ is the French for ‘private.’ The signal is pretty meaningless as such : Please what? But a private pier conveys the idea of VIP-ness, and the advertisement as a whole the idea that very important persons consume very much.

Case 33

Case 33

33 - 2

33 – 2

33 - 3

33 – 3

…………….Case 34 Gucci SEX

The borderline between hair and forehead, with all its underbrush, is a convenient place to embed SEXes à gogo. We have a real sex jungle here.

Case 34

Case 34

34 - 2

34 – 2

34 - 3

34 – 3

……………..Case 35 Dom Perignon SEX

The expensive champagne brand Dom Perignon uses no color on this one, expect golden letters for the brand name. The word sex is embedded on the stylized sea spray. The X is frankly neat and obvious as a white relief on this piece of commercial relievo.

Case 35

Case 35

35 - 2

35 – 2

35 - 3

35 – 3

…………….Case 36 Clarins SEX

Like in Case 15 (here), the word sex is embedded as a reflection on the sunglasses. Such reflections are typical background elements to which no attention is paid, even if geometrically speaking they are not in the background at all (since they are even closer to the viewer than the face itself, the glasses protruding from the forehead).

Case 36

Case 36

36 - 2

36 – 2

36 - 3

36 – 3

…………….Case 37 Olay SEX

Another case of hairline sex embedding (see Case 33).

Case 37

Case 37

37 - 2

37 – 2

37 - 3

37 – 3

…………….Case 38 Michael Kors SEX

Another case of sunglass reflections sex embedding. The difference with Case 35, however, is that the reflections on the latter are saturated: many objects, some sort of posh villa with greenwood trees, can be seen as reflections, among which the word sex has been embedded, whereas in the present case the apparent reflection is only that of a flat surface like the sea or a beach or a sand desert, and the sky. The word sex is embedded on this emptiness. I have outlined two different, partially overlapping embeds (37-3 and 37-4).

Case 38

Case 38

38 - 2

38 – 2

38 - 3

38 – 3

38 - 4

38 – 4

…………….Case 39 Etihad SEX

This one is my favorite from the lot and I will take a few minutes to explain why. First of all it uses celebrity endorsement, the woman there being the famous actress Nicole Kidman. Celebrity endorsement is described by D. Lakhani as subliminal advertising (according to Shakeel Ahmad Sofi, 2014, an Indian scholar who has studied the effects of these kinds of ads on a sample population of Kashmiri students), because one is induced to purchase a product upon motivations that have nothing to do with the product’s characteristics. This is stretching the meaning of ‘subliminal’ very much, for, although people like to say they buy products due to the latter’s intrinsic qualities, marketers know consumers should not be taken too seriously in that respect. Marketers also know celebrity endorsement sells well.

For women, the endorsement here triggers identification, I suppose. For men, it triggers plain sexual arousal in an extravagantly gross fashion. Shoes off, on her couch or bed inside the aircraft cabin, wearing a somewhat creased evening dress (it’s really bed time), Nicole Kidman is looking at you in the eyes. Furthermore there is the name Etihad in Arabic, no doubt a ‘marker’; in the same way as Audi’s international slogan Vorsprung durch Technik relies on the psychological ‘marker’ (be the fact true or not) of uncompromisingly reliable German technology (the idea of keeping the German language was the British agency BBH’s by the way: see R. Heath 2012), Arabic calligraphy evokes (be the facts true or not) Gulf oil wells and luxury and harem mysteries, so the male viewer is transported in a fantasy where he is a desert sheikh and the Hollywood star a sex slave from his harem, and the grossness of the sexual overtone (hardly an innuendo) becomes irresistible.

In such a context I was expecting the embeds to be rather shy, for two reasons. First, with due respect to the endorsing celebrity. Second, because the clients (Etihad) being desert sheikhs and outdoor Puritans*, they could miss the humor and jocularity of sex-embedding, as, for instance, capital punishment is still, in a spectacular fashion, in vigor among them (through fire squads, which is not as picturesque, however, as in neighboring Saudi Arabia, where beheading fairs are performed). These two factors would dampen, I conjectured, the artist’s embedding mania.

*(When I use the phrase ‘outdoor Puritans’, I do not mean these people are hypocrites. What occurs behind doors is no great secret among them, I should think. However, many Westerners will call these mores hypocritical, as repressed monogamists and ‘zerogamists’ carpet-bombed with mass media sexual fantasies are expected to do.)

The embeds are shy indeed; they almost seem to apologize for being there. But they are there anyway. One of them lies on a white pillow, as an arabesque of slight shades and folds. Others are on the couch, whose cover’s velvety fabric provides the milieu for the embed culture. I have outlined only a few of these.

Post Scriptum. As I find the same ad in the German magazine Der Spiegel (same month), it’s likely it appears in most journals of significance throughout the world. The price of such a global campaign (including NK’s compensation, and payment for advertising space on dozens of the most expensive media) must be enormous. Needless to say it is paid by the consumer: marketing costs are included in the final price.

Case 39

Case 39

39 - 2

39 – 2

39 - 2

39 – 2

39 - 4

39 – 4

39 - 5

39 – 5

April 2015