-Click- That's the sound of your classmate forwarding a picture from your profile to everyone he knows. -Click- Some guys posting graphic comments about your body -Click- and worst of all your dad seeing a photo of you topless all because of the time you posted those pictures on your profile. Anything you post online, anyone can see; family, friends and even not so friendly people. Visit CyberTipLine.com. Brought to you by the US Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Ad Counsel.I think I understand what this public service campaign is trying to accomplish: they want girls (everyone, really, but girls especially) to be safe about what words and images they post online. I think that's a good goal. I even understand why most of the messages are directed at teen/tween girls; I've seen To Catch a Predator - teen girls are probably the most common target of online perverts and criminals.
What I don't agree with is the other message this ad campaign seems to be sending: "You girls need to be careful about how you come across online, because once everyone thinks you're a slut, you're ruined forever."
Does a young woman's sexual reputation have to be the main focus of these ads? Why not her academic/professional reputation? Why not focus more on the actual real, physical dangers of talking to strangers online?
Even worse is this statement: "That's the sound of your classmate forwarding a picture from your profile to everyone he knows. Some guys posting graphic comments about your body..." Newsflash: teenage boys are going to talk about teenage girls bodies regardless of anything a girl does or does not post on the internet. Blaming the victim for being a target of bullying? NOT COOL, AD COUNCIL.
So, what could possibly work better than couching an important message in sexist rhetoric? Try being honest, direct, and to-the-point. Half-baked emotional appeals to young girls need not enter the picture.
Teenagers can smell B.S. a mile away. The less of that you use in your ads, the better.