The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Cult Of Selective Blame …
November 7, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Recently I read an article in the Daily Fail … I mean, Mail … that used the headline:

“CCTV shows dramatic moment ‘model pupil’, 15, held up bank workers at gunpoint in Grand Theft Auto-style robbery”

Their justification for linking this idiots actions to the video game was simply because they executed the robbery on the day GTA-V came out.

I know … I know … it’s the Daily Mail, so I should expect nothing more … but I still found it amazing they had the nerve to connect two completely independent events together like that.

To be fair, even they seem to have realised they stepped over the mark because after a few hours, they changed their headline … so while I could use the rest of this post to highlight the ridiculousness of media trying to link video game violence to real life violence [using my Father and – bizarrely Ozzy Osbourne – to prove my point] I’m going to help the Daily Mail by highlighting a couple of things they could be getting their knickers in a twist about.

Before I start, I’d like to say that adland cops a lot of shit from people.

Sure, a lot of that is justified, but having a reputation for being ‘paid liars’ is a joke because there’s more legislation governing what we can and can’t do than there is in journalism.

Of course there are times when an overly ambitious/evil/stupid agency creates work that massively exaggerates the positive attributes of a product or brand, but in the main, there’s a limit on how far you can go, especially where communicating to kids is concerned.

If only those same rules applied to companies.

Recently I was in a store when I saw this …

Yes, that really is a kids fizzy drink made to look [both physically and metaphorically] like champagne.

Now while I get it’s all a bit of fun, it’s not that different to those ‘candy cigarettes’ you could buy when I was a kid … a product that was eventually banned because people felt it made smoking look fun and acceptable to children which may then encourage them to take up the real habit in later life.

Now like video game violence, I am not sure if that is entirely true, especially as I ate a bunch of those things when I was a kid and never ended up even holding a cigarette, let alone smoking one … however unlike GTA, that product has no age restriction. In fact it is actively targeting young children under an ‘adult premise’ so given the Daily Mail tries to position itself as ‘societies guardian’, why the fuck aren’t they shouting about that?

But it gets worse.

Much worse.

Have a look at this …

Yes, it’s a VISA ‘gift card’.

A card [pre-loaded with a pre-determined amount of money] that you can give to loved ones or friend as a gift.

Putting aside the fact this is the sort of present only the lazy and selfish give [which isn’t true, but I’m on a roll here] how the hell does this not encourage kids to start looking at credit cards as something awesome?

Yes, I know factually speaking, it’s a debit card … but some 8 year old isn’t going to look at it that way.

They’re going to associate VISA as a brand that lets them have whatever they want without any implication.

While that’s awesome for the Goifesto people, it’s not for the kid who grows up, gets a card, goes out on a massive spending spree then finds they have to live in a bus shelter for the next 20 years because they can’t pay off the fines for being late paying off the massive interest they accrued on the massive credit limit they were given so they could go out and spend like they were an 8 year old with a VISA card gift voucher.

OK … OK … I’m coming over all Daily Mail there, and while I absolutely believe people have to take responsibility for their actions, I think kid champagne and kid credit cards are far more likely to negatively influence kids [and society] than a video game aimed at – and sold to – 18 year old adults.

I don’t know where I’m going with this [do I ever?] but if you come out and say you stand for something, have the good fucking grace to do it, do it well and do it consistently.

All this proves is what I’ve always said, for all the talk about the importance of strategy, the reality is companies only care about it until they see an opportunity for them to make more money, more quickly.

Right, I’m going to take some blood pressure pills and go and lie down. Ha.

18 Comments so far
Leave a comment

How could the Daily Mail ignore your viewpoint when the tone you’re using in this post sounds so similar to one of their regular readers? Expect to see this on their front page tomorrow.

Comment by DH

I might be turning into a DM reader because that visa gift evil makes me feel uneasy too.

Comment by DH

Except Robert includes objectivity, not just subjectivity, in his viewpoint.

Comment by George

i fucking hate the daily mail. i hate every fucker that works there. their family, their pets and their fucking ancestors. i fucking loathe the home counties twats that read it every day and think its biblical information. i hate their families, their families families and their brown brogues and tweed fucking scarves they wear every bastard sunday. fuck their hypocritical and transparent bullshit. but they can keep their articles on celebrity fuck ups, i like them. mainly because i imagine their 54 year old, suffolk dwelling, retired bank manager reader spending hours trying to work out who the fuck they are reading about.

Comment by andy@cynic

Brilliant overblown insulting Andy. I like the way you’ve said all that without any mention on what Rob said. That is DM editorial potential right there.

Comment by DH

ive got to somehow earn a fucking living.

Comment by andy@cynic

Bravo Andy. I thought I was pissed off when I was writing this post but you are at a whole other level. As usual. Ha.

Comment by Rob

youd be super pissed off if you had to read the ramblings of the bastard who stole your livelihood.

Comment by andy@cynic

If your life is what a stolen livelihood looks like, where do I sign up. (but without the alimony payment option)

Comment by DH


Comment by andy@cynic

You’re a cunning man Robert. You have written a post where any person who comments automatically sounds like a pseudo Mail subscriber or employee. But any person who reads this post but fails to comment, appears removed from supporting and protecting society. Did I say cunning? I meant evil.

Comment by George

Damned if you do, dammed if you don’t. Just like an unemployed, foreign born, single mother who somehow finds herself in a Daily Mail article.

Comment by Rob

Didn’t someone on here say the mail website was one of the most visited “news” sites in the world? Did I imagine that? I hope I did, it’s crap.

Comment by DH

GTA6 should have a mission where you have to kill the editor of that paper. Got to be true, I’ve never read the mail but you make it sound awesome.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Oh dear. I did worry that might happen. Though your GTA 6 idea is excellent.

Comment by Rob

The Rob rant is back. So that’s something we should thank the Daily Mail for.

You make some excellent points highlighting their hypocrisy and the GTA story is plain embarrassing. Unfortunately, you’re preaching to the converted, which is a shame because I would love to see the response if they ran the visa gift card story.

Comment by Pete

Trouble is, I really do hate that Visa gift card thing – so even contemplating I agree with a DM reader on something scares me to death.

Comment by Rob

Me too.

Comment by Pete

Leave a Reply