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October 22, 2014


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Maybe that ad is intended to show that girls should be harmless? Is there one showing boys should be harmless, too?

Oh, that's dreadful... especially because it's a girl. Perhaps it would be emasculating if the word "harmless" were used with a boy, but to use it with a girl... "Here, sweetie, grow up and don't really do anything that rocks the boat. Stay naive!"

Um... maybe not, WF.

Tanita and Susan: I don't see this as a boys vs. girls question. I see it as a misunderstanding of what "harmless" means. No amount of rationalization can make it a synonym for "caring" or "ethical," the way the agency seems to have intended.

Well, as a "layperson" who is not a word-smith or corporate brander but probably someone for whom that ad is geared, my first impression is that girls are, or should be, harmless. It's a breathtakingly misguided (and stupid) ad.

Am I the only person who sees this ad as ok inappropriately sexual for a young girl?! She is basically wearing a right pair of underwear! Are we trying to appeal to pedophiles or something? I just don't understand the point of this ad whatsoever. What is the message supposed to be here?

Donna: The girl is wearing shorts and a running top or swim top -- she looks to me to be a healthy, happy young athlete. I suppose it's possible to to read a sexual message into the image, but it's not how I saw it.

"Harmless," to me, is the inappropriate (or just off) message here.

It has nothing to do with Douglas Adams?
Surely the Earth being "Mostly Harmless" is almost as well known as 42 being the Answer, by now?

Wow, it's like you and other commenters are willfully trying to misunderstand. I love this ad. This girl is not being portrayed as sexual just because you see skin in an obviously non sexual pose. Nor is it saying don't rock the boat....she is flexing muscles and standing proud, obviously not a wimp. This is saying be strong, but don't use your strength for harming others...for exploiting the weak...in this context, for harming the environment or the creatures in it. I am a vegan and I saw this as directed at me. I strive to be strong in body and spirit, but I do so in ways that don't exploit animals.

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