on Rate the Ad, we took a look at torture-themed print work from Saatchi, Mumbai for Ariel clothes detergent. The ads show pieces of clothing being tortured like suspected terrorists above the warning "Stop Being Cruel to your Clothes." We wanted to know if you think it's inappropriate to draw parallels between human rights atrocities and household chores. Was anyone offended? Or, is this a smart way to energize ho-hum laundry with controversial news topics? In response, Adsters were not at all outraged. Instead, they seemed to expect this type of borrowing from the ad industry.
Commenter "a2harris" says, "You guys need to lighten up. It's just detergent. Yes, torture is a bad thing. But why did it have to be so sensitive an issue just because it's in the news....The news is in fact entertainment. It's also a magnificent selling tool. So, why try to be righteous about an obvious satire used to sell detergent?"
Reminding us that anything goes in ad land, commenter "rwordplay" says, "Strange, I'll admit, but completely consistent in a commercial culture that has erased boundaries between the real and imaginary and that has no moral compass to guide it. ...If we can have a genre of horror film called 'torture porn,' why can't torture be employed to sell detergent? There's no logical distinction between torture for entertainment or as a selling tool. Unless the ads were meant as satire, then we must accept the fact that we've reached a point where anything goes, so long as the client approves it."