I had posted, some time ago, a video on European enlargement, produced for the European Commission, that was accused of being racist.... I thought it was a clumsy attempt to capture young audiences, but that it did not strike me as racist; especially, I really did not want to be too negative as the Commission had started producing more daring - hence prone to criticism - videos.
That was then. Now, a couple of friends have separately sent me the YouTube link to a new Commission video that in theory should push young women to study science. Well, frankly I am speechless. Have a look:
Do I need to comment?
What bothers me though is:
A) that the European Commission spent probably a large sum of money to get the video done;
B) that no doubt they must have brainstormed and decided that this approach was not sexist or stereotypical but an effective way to communicate to young women (surely there must have been young women in the room, right?); C) that the producers went ahead and finished the beauty but then, when they started being criticised - exactly as it has happened with the video on the benefits of enlargement that I mentioned above- the Commission decided to pull the video from the website.
This means that:
A) Commission people don't really believe in what they do;
B) they are scared of being cricised so in fact they are not daring at all;
C) all the money spent is wasted as the video is not shown any longer.
One tricky thought: the link above has probably more views than many - if not all- videos the Commission has produced until now. So, let me get this right: I produce a video that I know will be criticised and for this reason it will be watched a lot; as soon as I get negative comments, I pull it from my site - people can still find it on YouTube - but I can say I am not showing it; and in fact, since people talk about it, it is probably money well spent even if they talk about it because it is bad..is this a new Commission audio-visual communication strategy? Oh dear, way too perverse....don't think so.