Multilingual Business Communication

November 1, 2008

‘Do you wanna touch?’

Filed under: crisis communication, Kirsten De Weerdt, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 4:10 pm

 

Computer giant Hewlett Packard recently launched a new PC called the ‘SmartTouch’. In order to promote this touch-screen PC, HP put together a TV commercial with a great soundtrack namely “Do you wanna touch?” sung by US rocker Joan Jett. It seemed a solid piece of advertising work.

  

 

However, only a few days later HP pulled the ad from television. Why, you may wonder?

The song was originally written by the legendary pop star Gary Glitter. But, this man is actually a notorious sex offender and a convicted paedophile. It wasn’t that long ago that he returned to the UK after spending 27 months in a Vietnam jail for committing obscene acts with minors. At least 19 countries have refused to admit him, therefore he had little choice but to return to Britain where he is currently on the sex offenders register. His records are never played on UK radio any more because of his sex convictions.

So, it is logical that the TouchSmart ad with the “Do you wanna touch?” song caused a lot of commotion. Moreover, since Gary Glitter is the songwriter of this song, he would collect all the royalties which are estimated at £100,000. Of course, a lot of people were very upset. Outraged campaigners in the US immediately demanded that HP dropped the TV ads containing the Glitter song. The US campaign group ChildAbuseWatch even called for a boycott of all Hewlett Packard products until HP resolved the matter.

HP took this matter very seriously and immediately announced that all the relevant advertising would be withdrawn in the UK and that the issue would be urgently reviewed in other companies. A few days later, the ad was pulled from TV and replaced by the following one:

 

(Kirsten De Weerdt)

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1 Comment »

  1. You have chosen a topic that actually belongs to two categories: marketing and crisis communication. It would have been nice if you would have highlighted that fact a bit more. The crisis communication part could have used a bit more work. On this note, I would also appreciate a bit more of a personal input.

    Computer giant Hewlett Packard recently launched a new television called the ‘SmartTouch’. In order to promote this touch-screen TV, they put together a TV commercial with a great sound track namely “Do you wanna touch?” sung by US rocker Joan Jett. It seemed a solid piece of advertising work.

    However, this song was originally written by Gary Glitter and therefore he gets to collect all the royalties which are estimated at £100,000.

    What is the problem, you may wonder?

    The legendary pop star Gary Glitter is actually a notorious sex offender and a convicted paedophile. It wasn’t that long ago that he returned to the UK after spending 27 months in a Vietnam jail for committing obscene acts with minors. At least 19 countries have refused to admit him, therefore he had little choice but to return to Britain where he is currently on the sex offenders register. His records are never played on UK radio any more because of his sex convictions.

    Outraged campaigners in the US have demanded that HP drops the TV ads containing the Glitter song. The US campaign group ChildAbuseWatch even called for a boycott of all Hewlett Packard products until this matter is resolved.

    HP announced that all relevant advertising has been withdrawn in the UK and that the issue is being urgently reviewed in other countries.

    Include your urls in your text as hyperlinks.

    Marilyn Michels

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — November 16, 2008 @ 5:12 pm


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