Leo, Conan, and Representations of Americans in Ads Outside of US

There’s so much fodder just looking at stereotypes and unconscious bias in US advertising, that there’s not much time to take a look at ads in other countries, but this ad (thanks to Larry Kolb in Rgober Ebert’s Journal) is a fun peek into advertising appearances by Hollywood stars in Japan. Having been asked at a park in…

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I’m not Prejudiced, My Best Friend is White

David Giantasio questioned on Adfreak, why, after becoming an ex-smoker, the “hero” of the ad (from Amercian Legacy, the NATC, the Ad Council and GSD&M Idea City) didn’t shoot higher than bowling (above) or operating a fork-lift.  As an ex-smoker (June 24, 1986, but who’s keeping track?) the week you quit smoking  really is not the time to take on…

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How Action (and mistakes) can Positively Move Discussion on White Privilege Forward

  Have you ever been in a position at work where you are working your tail off and all you hear is criticism from those around you?  As explained by a sympathetic friend to me once, “it’s like the idea of a moving target.  If everyone else is sitting around doing nothing, you running by…

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The 7-Year-Old Samba Queen and Identity vs Societal Norms

Have you heard the old joke that plays on the philosophical question about a tree falling in the forest?  You know the one… “If you’re in the forest and you say something wrong and your spouse (of course I’m going with the gender neutral version!) doesn’t hear you, are you still wrong?” While seemingly innocuous,…

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Multilingual Robots, White Canada, Latent Sexism: Odds and Ends

Multilingal (20 languages!) Robot a la C3PO RATS!  Looks like the government is moving yet closer to solving issues for multilingual, real-time translation, with the launch of Robust Automatic Translation of Speech  (this link is to the RFP to build the program–reminds me a little of hearing about a contest for 5th graders to come up…

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Consciously building unconscious bias

I was struck by author Malcolm Gladwell’s desicription of “Rapid Cognition” in the book blink, and how he used the example of the car salesman to show how ignoring sub-conscious ‘knee-jerk’ reactions to people can negatively impact the bottom line.  (e.g. assuming someone won’t be buying  a car strictly from their appearance/first impression.)  When we (social…

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Super Bowl Census Ad Reinforces Sterotypical Bias in Workplace

This Super Bowl Commercial for Snapshot of America could be a snapshot of unconscious bias in the American workforce.  The bosses are white, male and older and all people of color (or those with alternative style) are in supporting positions and/or marginalized.  It’s so steretypical that it’s funny, and I”m not sure if that’s “odd” funny…

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