A sad distorsion of so called Belgian humor


First female referee - During a campaign agains child Labour - Source: ILO (International Labour Organization)Our respected competitors and leading web agency in Belgiun, Emakina, launched last Tuesday a website called Rent a Wife (and here’s the URL, you can check it out on www.rentawife.be).
This website is supposed to be a joke and should, according to the agency, be taken as such.
The website actually tries to sell DVDs and in order to explain the service – you can rent for example 3 DVDs, keep them according to your own needs and send them back through the post at will.

The discussions about the ethics of this so called publicity campaign have been ranging all through the country as all major papers picked up the story. Apparently, one could therefore state that the so called buzz around this campaign can be considered as being successful.

The thing is, the viral essence of this campaign can already be questioned through the way it was communicated as, being disturbing, this campaign was easily picked up by the off line media (with a little help from this leading agency).
Add to that that no tags can be found on the pages of the website, I actually wonder how they are actually going to measure traffic!!!

In any case, eventhough one could argue that buzz is good. As they appeared on national television in prime time, the objective seems to be reached.
Well, on the contrary, I could set-up an econometric model to destroy this, as in an age of information, reputation becomes more and more important. Aren’t we all talking about TRUST, related to brands, lately?

So, this is not viral and this is not measured.
Add to that that tests have already been done with these kinds of websites, where the brand is not clearly mentioned from the beginning (mentioning on each page -in the footnote!- it was an ad, is not enough).  But for your information, these types of campaigns do not ensure long term involvement by potential clients, if you don’t show directly what you’re trying to sell (cf.  measuring brand online an interesting article about Brands online).

I’m really sad that this kind of boyish, childish behavior comes from a company listed on the stock exchange.  By the way, wouldn’t one also want to state that there is some kind of SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY that comes with such a position? or is it all about taking the money and run?
I’m not convinced the client is well served with this campaign and online long term sales figures for DVDPost will tell.

I do however know that, as a woman, working in such a mans world as IT, this does not serve me well! So, thanks guys, thanks for keeping the flame very much alive under this nice pitch of sexism I face on a very regular basis. An intelligent woman is something not a lot of men can deal with but mentalities are changing slowly and finally, positive, intelligent, forward thinking work can be done!

Wouldn’t it have been much more elegant to also set-up www.rentahusband.be? after all, it’s not as if we’re all Barbie dolls, only busy with thankfully pampering our male companions: this ship has sailed a long time ago!
I had a nightmare last night, imagining the site.
Put up a nice picture of a guy and with the mention that if you feed him with video games, a Mac and some junk food, you end up with a couch patatoe.

Seriously guys, if you claim to be a leader, please act like it.  Or else this only means that if you’re worth a hell of a lot of money, you can get away with anything. A world in which I refuse to live in!
I am sad, I am angry and I am very dissapointed. I am not bright enough to be able to take this as a joke. Hey, who can blame me? I’m just a woman, right?

Aurelie Pols
This post reflects my personal opinion and I “claim” freedom of speach. Not funny?

6 Responses to “A sad distorsion of so called Belgian humor”

  1. Negligible quantities Louer une femme? « Says:

    […] Si vous lisez l’anglais, je vous conseille de lire le cri de révolte d’Aurélie Pols. […]

  2. damien Says:

    “Seriously guys, if you claim to be a leader, please act like it.” You’r God damned right ! thanx for the link 🙂

  3. Shoob » Blog Archive » links for 2007-04-05 Says:

    […] A sad distorsion of so called Belgian humor Aurelie Pols partage mon avis disséminé sur plusieurs blogs suite à cette fausse “campagne” orchestrée pour un loueur de DVD en ligne. […]

  4. Braden Hoeppner Says:

    Bravo Aurelie,

    You are right on the money Aurelie. Attempts at “Humor” such as this do nothing but perpetuate historic notions of all kinds of “-isms”, be it racial, sexist etc. Even if there is money at the end of the road – some things ought not to be pursued.

  5. Xavier Says:

    Pas top en effet

  6. Denis au fil du web » Influents & influençables Says:

    […] ou bernés. A une période où certains créatifs utilisent notre capacité voire promptitude à nous questionner et nous indigner pour faire croître leur notoriété et peut-être celle de leur client, il […]

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