Week 6 – PR, Propaganda and Ethics

As i touched on in my week 5 entry, I am curious to see how industry experience develops one’s ethical perspective. In the week 6 lecture, one thing that interested me was the ethics of the Kony 2012 campaign. The ethical concerns related to social justice campaigns in general i find really interesting, as the issues have such an enormous emotional capacity, and even if the goal of the campaign is ethical, the communication can still be unethical. For a campaign with so much global visibility, the credibility of the source and transparency regarding the destination of donations is very lacking and i find that very concerning, especially given the propagandist nature of the flagship video.

It appears that the goodwill that comes from charity association can be capitalised on in questionable ways. Consider The Colour Run (http://thecolorrun.com/australia/) – Do their charity partner(s) actually recieve any of the $55 that participants pay? Is Swisse a corporate sponsor for a charity event, or is this a publicity stunt for Swisse that is trying to capitalise on the charity event market?

After doing some research, I find it ethically questionable that the $55 fee gets me registration and a t-shirt, with the profit margin going to Swisse, and the ‘charity partner’ just recieving awareness, as i was told by staff of The Colour Run.

So what have i learned? Swisse look selfish, and Invisible Children look like emotionally manipulative religious colonists. If you’re going to do charity/social justice do it right or you look like a dipstick.


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