American Advertising Federation-Louisville recently released a careless and insensitive promotional ad for the ADDY awards, created by red7e, that offensively portrays the transgender community. This doesn’t represent Fieldtrip or our community’s values.
“Advertising” can appear meaningless, money hungry, cheap and intrusive. In actuality, it’s a reflection of our society and its underlying values. Organizations make advertising decisions based on what they think their audience will like and respond to. An advertisement is the beginning of a conversation between a company and you—the “viewer.” That conversation can take many forms. It can be repetitive, funny, heartfelt, abrupt, or even controversial. Regardless of the tone or medium, these messages make an impact and need to be considered.
At Fieldtrip, we understand the importance of navigating the nuances of this conversation carefully and thoughtfully. It is extremely disappointing when an organization that is intended to drive innovation within our industry communicates in a careless, senseless, immature and bullying tone. AAF Louisville and red7e’s tasteless decision does not reflect our values—or those of our industry.
For the decision makers that didn’t find this ad offensive, you may not fully understand its impact. That doesn’t give you permission to trivialize, or turn the struggles of those currently facing discrimination for their gender identity into a punchline. There are plenty of talented local agencies that can create thoughtful, impactful and inclusive marketing campaigns and we’re one of them.
It’s not enough to just voice our anger, it’s up to us to change the conversation for the better. Reach out to the people who messed up, hold them accountable and help them be better.