Friday is usually a pretty inoffensive day for the Times op-ed page. (Dowd saves her punny schlockicisms for Wednesdays and Sundays, Kristol gets Mondays, and the worst administration actually made honest men out of the formerly-predictable ideologues [Krugman and Brooks!] who run the Friday shift.) But today right underneath Paul Krugman's column about how the plutocracy's geometric accumulation of wealth has caused the merely superrich to consider themselves and their own warped senses of reality somehow normal we have an advertisement posing an intriguing ethical dilemma! "You see a nanny at the park seemingly mistreating her charge," it reads. Then it lists some possible responses.None of them are "Presume that if I am an adult in the sort of park where I can safely assume such a woman is a nanny, than I too am a nanny, and thus inclined to believe any nanny with the audacity to 'mistreat' her 'charge' in public is probably acting in self-defense." But that's not the point. The point is, yes, there is actually a blog dedicated to nanny snitching, and yes, it contains actual photos of black women being, for instance, not "abusive, per se, but neglectful for sure" in the presence of white children, which yes raises many ethical questions I'd rather just sum up as "WTF." So who do we have to thank for this? It's the same classy insurance company that bought the name of that adman who committed suicide after being called a dick by lots of people on the internet as a Google Adwords search term to promote another installation in the same stupid "Responsibility Project" campaign! The whole point of that campaign is allegedly to get people to think about tough ethical dilemmas. The genius of it is that the tough ethical dilemmas are the types experienced exclusively by very wealthy people whose sense of ethics have already no doubt been warped by their sizeable wealth, because those are the types of people who are most likely to think, "Oh fuck, you know what? If all my bad rich person karma isn't already in the park beating my kid I am going to need some INSURANCE." Now That's Rich [NYT]
NBC has a new show coming up this season called "Kings," which will be a joint-promotional deal with suicide-exploiting insurance company Liberty Mutual. They're the ones who promoted their shitty branding website by buying up Google Adwords like "Paul Tilley," the name of the ad exec who committed suicide in February. Classy! The show will be "a modern-day retelling of the David and Goliath story. The themes of the show are meant to be consistent with Liberty Mutual's "Responsibility Project," which promotes personal responsibility." Boycott this show responsibly, please. [NYT]
Here's a good look at Liberty Mutual's feast of responsibility: the simplistic blog post on ResponsibilityProject.com that the company was seeking to promote by buying up deceased ad executive Paul Tilley's name in Google Adwords. "When a 40-year-old Chicago advertising executive named Paul Tilley died recently, the cause of death was officially ruled suicide," the post says. "But some believe that Tilley was metaphorically pushed by a steady stream of malicious comments anonymously posted about him online in the weeks before he took his life." Well, the investigators got it all wrong, then! We also notice that they've bought the word "responsibility." And after the jump, you can watch one of the site's responsibility-promoting films: "A man is just another passenger on a bus until he comes face to face with a thief. And a choice." So he chose to steal a dead guy's name to sell insurance, right? Surprisingly, no!
There was a ton of debate about the death of Paul Tilley, the ad agency exec who committed suicide last month. Some people charged mean bloggers with helping to push him over the edge—charges that seemed increasingly ridiculous, as people took time to consider the full situation. But Liberty Mutual, the huge insurance company, had another thought about Tilley's death: what a great way to promote our company! And that's exactly what they did, the sickos.