Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bigotry Sells

So, Washington state is set to make marriage equality law.

Industry tends to support marriage equality, because it means that they can hire the talented gay people with families away from anti-gay areas, since they can treat them as employees should be treated.

This makes perfect sense, and you'd think it would get supposed free marketeers excited, but it tends not to (See the conservative states that have banned gay marriage over the objections of industry).  A lot of times, when a really obviously bigoted ad gets some attention, people argue that it can't be racist because it would alienate potential customers of color.  Markets are segmented and targeted all the time, which alienates potential customers, but will create some loyalty in the targeted segment.  No one blinks when an ad takes advantage of classism to position its product as one of the good things in life, so why wouldn't one take advantage of sexism or racism or homophobia?

I used to believe this market-based argument against bigotry in advertising, but I've since noticed how attached people are to their -isms.  Anti-feminism is important to some people, and they might buy manly Dr. Pepper. 
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