ASCA, Adults Surviving Child Abuse, has just launched a new advertising campaign, which they call “confronting” and “provocative”.
It is confronting and provocative, and knowing the origins, I expect that they definitely mean well.
But I’m not at all convinced that the creative agency, Whybin TBWA Tequila, was quite on point with this ad.
What do you think? Is this ad inadvertently portraying the scene in this video as a consummation devoutly to be wished, something survivors should be working toward? Does the intended – well, I’m guessing they’d label it “irony” – work for you?
Update: Thanks to Su, we now have a transcript of the ABC’s Life Matters programme discussion of this campaign. It’s in a separate post for length reasons (with comments closed); discussion can continue here at this post.
Trigger warning applies: “joking” about child rape.
Scene: The head table at a stereotypical white wedding. All of the participants are white, thoroughly groomed, and formally dressed. A man who appears to be in his 60s, wearing a suit with a white carnation buttonhole, is standing giving a toast. He has a piece of paper in his left hand and a glass of wine in his right. Seated to his right is a women perhaps in her late 20s, with lots of curly blonde hair, in a white dress and veil. Seated to her right is a young man in a suit, also with a white carnation. The presumed bride and groom are both smiling up at the father of the bride. The atmosphere is convivial and jocular.
Father of the Bride: [finishing a joke] “…So he says, if she’s not good enough for her family, she’s not good enough for mine!”
FotB: “Which brings me to my little princess.” [FotB puts hand on bride's shoulder, bride smiles up at him lovingly] “Who was certainly good enough for me. If ya know what I mean!”
[laughter] [camera moves back a little to also show the presumed MotB, in a dove grey suit, smiling and laughing also.]
FotB: “Well today’s the day I hand over Melissa to Tom.” [closeup on bride smiling soppily] “Forgive an old bloke for getting a little sentimental.” [FotB consults his notes] “I look at Melissa today, and I remember the first words I ever said to her after sex.”
[Bride leans in to FotB, smiling, and recites along to the next bit, which is obviously an old joke between them]
FotB and Bride: “Don’t tell Mum!”
[raucous laughter, MotB also laughing uproariously, hand to her chest]
FotB: “Now. In conclusion, I’d like you all to be upstanding.
[fade to black]
Voiceover: If only it was this easy to get over child abuse. For more than 2 million Australians, it isn’t. We can’t change their past. Together we can change their future. To find out more, visit asca.org.au.]
[Back to the wedding toast]
FotB: “And Tom – give you a few tips later, son!” [laughter; bride fake-slaps his elbow and mouths, "Dad!", smiling] “Melissa and Tom!”