One of the disadvantages to reading most of my news through an aggregator is I miss the ads that accompany the stories. It’s kind of strange to admit this, but I actually miss the ads sometimes. As a result, when I surf the sites normally, I usually pay close attention to the ads that appear – much closer than I used to, at least.
This one really struck me as odd. Since most of what I saw above the scroll was the woman holding her head, I assumed it was some form of headache medicine. That struck me as odd given that I rarely see ads like that on news sites. I scrolled down and was stunned by this ad for two reasons – 1) my internal radar was way off and 2) it may be one of the most inadvertently offensive ads I’ve ever seen.
Pairing the phrase “The Emotional Response To Identity Fraud Is The Same As A Violent Crime” with the picture of the woman is unbelievably insensitive. Why? Most people to whom I showed the ad all had the same visceral reaction. They all believed the image of the woman tried to put identity theft on par with rape.
Given that rape is usually inflicted on women, and rape is the (or at least one of the) most common violent crime committed against women, it seemed the advertiser wants you to see a distraught woman, and equate the discomfort of identity theft to the pain of rape.
I’m not sure if you have ever known someone who has been the victim of either crime, but I’ve known victims of both. I can almost guarantee that the victim of the rape would never consider the sense of violation from someone stealing your credit to the sense of violation from being held down, and forcefully assaulted.
I’ll be surprised if this ad doesn’t offend a lot of people. Stopijacking.com may never hear from irate rape victims, but I suspect they will.