Tag Archives: advertising

Things That Make You Go…What?

So I’m reading “The World in 2009” special annual edition published by The Economist. Lots of thought-provoking stuff about what might come in the wake of the various issues and conflicts in the world today.

But the really fun stuff is the ads. Where else could you learn about the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority or the web site investinmacedonia.com?

OK, I can hear you thinking, “Anthromama, you think that stuff is fun?”

Well, maybe not so much fun as where the heck else are you going to see ads for Cargill, Airbus, Hermès, Credit Suisse, and Qatar Airways all in one place?

Anyhoo, the reason I am bring all this up is because of one particular ad.

First Republic Bank’s ad on page 38 depicts a married couple and includes their testimonial about the bank’s service. Below this are their names and occupations. The man is a “telecom executive” while the woman is an “attorney at law, wife and mother”.

Hmmmm. How come he’s not a “telecom executive, husband and father”? I wonder if she chose that description of herself?

So I checked out the bank’s web site, and sure enough, there is a frame showing a slideshow of testimonials including this one. Lots of single men and women, as well as couples and families. Lots and lots of CEOs, CFOs, doctors, and entrepreneurs. Only one other person that I saw was identified as “wife, grandmother, and community volunteer” and not one man identified himself as anything but his job title.

I’m really curious about this — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi consistently framed herself as a mother and grandmother during the 2006 elections and was criticized for it. Is it a yoke of patriarchy to identify women based on their reproductive histories, or is it a sign of true freedom that women can embrace and promote all of their capacities?


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