Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cola for Babies? Check Your Sources

In class last week, a number of small discussion groups were talking about the ethics of "cradle to grave" advertising, which Schlosser discusses in section I.2 of Fast Food Nation, and I was reminded of this advertisement, which caused a flurry of discussion when it appeared (yet again) on the web last spring:

As you can imagine, this ad provoked sharp responses wherever it was posted, ranging from diatribes against corporate cynicism to reflections on the strange naïveté of mid-twentieth century America. Writers wrote, bloggers blogged, comment threads spun out their webs of irritable disagreement and knowing consensus.

The problem is, this is not a real advertisement. A little online research reveals its actual source and the fact that it's a Photoshop mock-up. But there is internal evidence too, which active, critical readers of the ad should have caught.

Imagine the embarrassment you would feel if you were the author of this editorial--or one of the many people (for example, this neuroscience blogger and this forum contributor) who have reposted it and passed it on.

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