I had to post about this bus stop ad not only because I work in the advertising industry but also because I’m Dutch. Oh, those wacky Dutch.
The premise of this ad is a bus stop that, when you sit down, projects your weight onto an advertisement for a gym. Shakesville has a picture, and Liss points out that the ad is:
Not only fat-hating/shaming, but deeply hostile to the physically disabled, who have to exchange their privacy and dignity for their basic comfort just to wait for a bus.
On AdFreak, a commenter talks about fatism in the Netherlands (which for the record I have not experienced myself):
I’m an American expat currently living in the Netherlands… you wouldn’t believe how far people will go with shame ads. I’ve never gotten used to the stark honesty (read: rudeness) that is culturally acceptable (read: mandatory) here. It’s not unusual to see onlookers laugh openly at disabled persons, or anyone who has difficulty/is overweight. Staring openly, making audible comments – these are just part of life here. I would die of embarrassment from this ad; since I ride the bus daily, I’ll have to watch out.
It doesn’t seem anyone thinks this is a great idea. Cherryflava, a marketing blog, asks:
We’re all for innovative, interactive public advertising, but when does the interactive nature of the ad start infringing on your right to privacy?
This whole thing gets me wondering what I would do if that bus stop were in my ‘hood. Would I sit on it proudly and own my size? Would I make sure someone always sat down at the same time as me? Would I flip it off as I walked past? Would I just stay standing? What should I do? What would you do?
Link found via Shapely Prose.
Posted by mo pie