First 5 California has a quick marketing lesson to teach us: If you Photoshop pictures of kids to make them look fat, people will complain.
It all started with the state-funded organization’s ad campaign, which was meant to illustrate the effects of sugar consumption on children. The message, however, may have gotten lost in translation.
"It was intended to show parents the real-life consequences of obesity and what sugar can do to our children's lives," First 5 spokesperson Lindsay Van Laningham told MSN
. "The ads have just started going up in a series of convenience stores in certain parts of the state where it's hard to get access to healthy food … areas deemed 'food deserts.'"
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Critics have called the ads “hateful” and “racist.”
got a hold of the ads and skewered them and First 5 California:
“I wouldn't exactly call her fat, and I wouldn't call her wouldn't human-looking either. She looks like a future graphic design dropout was blindfolded and then told to draw an obese chipmunk. Plus, WTF is up with the darkening of her skin? It's all bad.”
Is Photoshopping an image—specifically a person’s likeness—ever OK for marketing purposes? What guidelines or parameters would you offer? Please let us know in the comments section.