Sunday, August 06, 2006

We Couldn't Think of Anything So...

Some years ago, Haagen-Dazs ice-cream launched a raunchy advertising campaign in the UK. The campaign featured naked models in suggestive poses, who as well as performing whatever sexual acts they were up to, were simultaneously eating the ice-cream in question.

Private Eye, a satirical magazine in Britain carried a parody of the ads, with the caption "We couldn't think of any words to sell our ice-cream, so here is a picture of a bird with no clothes on."

I mention this, because the Ottawa Citizen has run three stories in the last two weeks that have been accompanied by color pictures of semi-naked pre-pubescent girls. Most recently, the picture ran full size on the front page of the Weekly section in today's paper, with no caption or context.

Earlier in the week, a story on climate change was accompanied by a similar photograph. Climate change to girls in swimsuits is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? All this, just as police were searching for Peter Whitmore and the missing Saskatchewan 10-year old boy.

I have no objection to pictures of pretty women in swimsuits - far from it. But I don't think we need to see children portrayed this way, and I certainly don't think that stories on completely unrelated issues should be illustrated like this. Quite what the photo editor is thinking, I don't know, but perhaps it bears investigation.