Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category

Michael de Adder and “The Bigger Picture”

July 1, 2019

Micheal de Adder cartoon with Donald Trump

This weekend the prolific political cartoonist and author Michael de Adder was for all intents and purposes, fired from all newspapers in his home province of New Brunswick, Canada for creating a cartoon critical of America’s 45th President.

This contentious piece has since gone supernova, his third one-panel cartoon on the same subject to go viral in a week.

From Micheal de Adder via Twitter:

The highs and lows of cartooning. Today I was just let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick.

Michael says that while he wasn’t technically employed by the papers he was however “let go” from the contract he held with Brunswick News Inc., and thus the three newspapers in his home province.

All three of these are owned by the same company, Brunswick News Inc.’s parent company, J.D. Irving Ltd. – a huge oil and forestry company with trade ties to the US, wary of drawing the ire of its 45th President Donald Trump.

Trump is a man who punishes those in the press he deems to have taken pot shots at him by effectively encouraging his followers to take a literal pot-shot back. It’s so common a reaction of Trump’s that de Adder recently published a cartoon on the subject.

Cartoons from the past two weeks. #Trump

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These were de Adder’s first two cartoons that went viral of Trump, a character so cartoonish in himself that it’s hard not to lampoon him.

Mr deAdder is well aware of where his termination of contract came from…

The Premier of New Brunswick Blaine Higgs is a former Irving Oil executive, and any cartoon I drew that was slightly critical of him [Trump] was systematically axed. You want to know why I was let go? I wanted to do my job as an editorial cartoonist, and they wanted me to do their job.
– Via @deAdder on Twitter

As insightful as those first two cartoons were, it appears that it was this powerful piece that caused de Adder’s employers to finally terminate his contract with immediate effect.

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The cartoon depicts Trump having disembarked his golf cart at the edge of the water, looking down at the bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, who tragically drowned while trying to cross from Mexico into Texas last week (God love him and his daughter).

Their sad fate was captured in photographs which has further fuelled the fire of debate on immigration in the U.S.

This photo is perfectly evoked in de Adder’s powerful cartoon. Standing over them with an enigmatic smile, Trump’s apathy to human value and dull mimicry of social propriety is captured in his “Do you mind if I play through?”.

Taken together, this is an incredibly powerful and emotive piece, which was clearly too much for the oil company owners of the New Brunswick Times.

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One can only assume that the oil company must have a financial interest in silencing any dissent against the most divisive character in the U.S.. This is dangerous, but not a precedent. Silencing and demonising the press is a familiar tactic from the late 1930s and early 1940s here in Europe. It certainly makes a case for significant oversight on media ownership.

With our own derisive characters clamouring even now for attention from the far right, it’s hard nowadays not to be familiar with their cry for protection of free speech – unless it’s something they disagree with.

It is hard to imagine why an oil company should be allowed such control over the press. It is even harder to imagine how they thought that cancelling Michael de Adder’s contract would silence dissent against the “bigger picture”.

Cartoonists capture our imagination by articulating often in only one frame what so many of us are thinking.

They can remind us, warn us, amuse us and educate us. They are often at the front lines of change and dissent and can pay dearly for it, as we saw in the case of France’s Charlie Hebdo and the ensuing Je Suis Charlie movement in 2015 where 12 people were killed by gunmen at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Michael de Adder, has filled out his side of the story on his Twitter account (@deAdder).

He has detailed his account of the situation and is thankful for 17 years of his 20 year career honing his craft locally. He has stated that while he will miss working with his local papers he still freelances for some amazing newspapers and already had a book due locally in September.

At Fuzion Communications we wish him the best and every success and look forward to enjoying his work for many years to come.

#RESIST

Mark Kenny, Graphic Designer, Fuzion CommunicationsMark Kenny

Mark Kenny is part of the Graphic Design Department in Fuzion Communications, who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

The Power of ‘Cancel-Culture’

May 22, 2019

Tati

‘Cancel-culture’ is a social media movement that ultimately ‘cancels’ a person, boycotting both the individual and their brand.

This term has been thrown around a lot in the online world and most recently can be seen in the online beauty community.

When someone is “cancelled” you can expect to see them being virtually excommunicated by their followers and subscribers, as well as by other social media influencers.

The recent feud between James Charles and Tati Westbrook, professional YouTubers, influencers and entrepreneurs, tore the internet in two and had an unimaginable impact on social media.

Tati Westbrook announced the recent betrayal of her so-called best friend, James Charles, being the final straw in their tumultuous relationship by publicly shaming him on both Twitter and YouTube.

Along with bashing James’ character, Tati made serious accusations against him, one of which was accusing him of being a predator. This fuelled a fire that engulfed social media platforms and attracted the attention of millions.

James Charles was deemed ‘cancelled’ by onlookers, losing millions of followers, until he finally addressed all of the allegations made against him. He responded with two videos to clear his name, he had ‘receipts’ and screenshots of conversations contradicting almost everything that had been thrown at him.

His video is currently trending at number one on YouTube and has over 36 million views. While James’ followers started to replenish, it was now Tati who was labelled ‘cancelled’ and whose follower count was and continues to dwindle.

Jeffree Star, another beauty YouTuber, influencer and entrepreneur, jumped on the bandwagon of attacking James Charles and has, along with Tati, been ‘cancelled’.

James Charles

However, Tati, Jeffree and James have since tweeted that they have settled the dispute behind closed doors and announced that they will not be commenting any further on the matter to the public again, mentioning hopes of their relationships one day recovering.

Some people question whether or not it was all a publicity stunt to boost their fame but it is to be left up in the air with viewers questions unanswered.

All that is clear is that within days the internet saw the bumpy rise and fall of these internet stars, the potential making and breaking of careers through the simple, yet fatal, term..

..’cancelled’.

Emer Healy, Fuzion CommunicationsEmer

Emer Healy is an Account Executive with Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Advertisements that pull at your heartstrings – are they only for Christmas?

May 18, 2017

McDonald's

This morning, like most other mornings people are continuing to find things to give out about.

I’m very much about voicing your opinion when necessary, but sometimes I feel it can all be a tad dramatic! This time one of the world’s favourite fast food joints, McDonald’s was under attack for their newest advertisement, which is now tactlessly titled the “McDonald’s Dead Dad Advert”, making it easier to find online for those interested.

What is the advert about?

The advert shows a boy who was clearly very young when his dad passed away and is intrigued to know more about him – what he was like, what sports he played etc.

His questions are his way of finding out how similar they might have been.

However, his mother depicts a person that he is nearly nothing alike. The boy seems disappointed but not upset at his findings but then just as he sits to enjoy his Fillet ’O’ Fish meal his mum tells him that what he has ordered was his dad’s favourite too and that he always got the tartare sauce on his chin.

The camera then cuts to the boy with tartare sauce on his chin, his mum smiling and looking out the window fondly remembering that moment she shared with her husband.

Watch advert here:

The commotion:

I’m not going to go into much detail on what people are saying about the advert, it’s pretty 50/50 but you can read up on this online for yourself. However, there were enough complaints for the advert to be banned.

According to The Journal.ieMcDonald’s said “t had not meant to upset anyone, but “wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in our customers’ everyday lives — both in good and difficult times.”

McDonald’s said today it was withdrawing the ad “completely and permanently” and would “review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again.”

You can read the full article by clicking here:

My view:

So this brings me to my point, would this be more acceptable at Christmas time?

Let’s not forget EDEKA the German supermarket Christmas advert which shows a grandfather faking his own death which was also controversial but in a weird way somewhat humorous OR Lidl’s Christmas advert that showed a family celebrating the special time of the year but missing their Grandmother at the table.

You can view these videos by clicking on the links below:

The German EDEKA advert and the Lidl advert.

Both adverts show bereavement in a different way as does the McDonalds advertisement but they are all asking us to remember our loved ones that can’t be here with us anymore.

I personally think that the complaints are a complete overreaction. It was a well thought out advertisement showing a very personal side to what some families go through every day. It was upbeat, not at all morbid and I did not get the impressions that they were trying to say that McDonald’s fixes everything. I felt that they were showing how the brand is very much a part of nearly every family.

The boy’s newly discovered likeness to his father is a fond memory that his mother has, and is now something they can both share together – this connection could make their relationship as mother and son stronger.

The trip to McDonald’s could be one of many and a way for them to hang onto a shared memory – what is so bad about that?!

Not to get all morbid, but death becomes a part of everyone’s life at some stage and while right now you don’t need to experience it directly, if an advertisement can shine a light on the part of death that shows a family connection, nostalgia and shared memories then I’m all for it.

Of course, the ironic thing about it all is that McDonald’s as a brand is still grabbing the media and public’s attention.

So whether you like the ad or not they’ve created awareness for their brand while promoting a meal that probably isn’t on their most ordered list! It might not be how they wanted to receive this attention but it is still publicity at the end of the day!

Do you think McDonald’s were right to shut down their advert?

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications in our Dublin office. Fuzion provide Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Social Media Management services from our office in Dublin and Cork.


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