Thursday, December 14, 2006

How 'PC' is too 'PC' in marketing... in life?

Christmas trees being pulled down from office lobbies and tokenism in advertising campaigns... how are we feeling about how diversity is reflected in the media and in our day-to-day environment? As Canadians we enjoy a truly multicultural nation and we are very careful to not offend anyone, anywhere, anyhow. But how far is too far? How PC is too PC? We went to the experts and conducted research with visible minority women-- part of our ongoing Salon Series on Diversity and Women.

Here is what we learned, understand and apply in our marketing practices:

  • Stereotypes and tokenism are alive and well
  • Ignorance and overcompensation (or being too "PC") is offensive
  • Advertising campaigns that carefully drop "colour" into the picture often hurts more than it helps
  • Advertising should be reflective of the market it is attracting. Period.

Best said by one of our participants, (authenticity is the primary consideration when it comes to diversity) "we need to ensure that the embracing of diversity is truly 'real'....that it is not done just at the surface but at a deep roots level".

So, attention all marketers... be careful about being too careful. Sometimes good intentions don't always translate into good results!

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