Poor Guido. He had five months or so to digest the buggering that Mike Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, took for his honesty. Perhaps the chairman of Barilla thought he’d at least get the same seven-year pass Jeffries received.
But what he couldn’t have known was the troubling convergence that has taken place in American society (and given that his comments were made on Italian radio, he probably didn’t give a flying f&ck either). Take one part political correctness on steroids, one part social “we don’t click on the link but we sure as hell will retweet it” media, then add a pinch of user-generated content.
With that, "The Closing Of The American Mind” is just about three turns of the screw from being complete.
Guido Barilla didn’t say:
I hate gays…or…Gas the gays…or…Mamma mia, gays shoulda choka onna my pasta.
That would be anti-gay, for which he and his company, Barilla, are being unjustly labeled.
Guido Barilla did what Jeffries did – in so many words declaring who his target audience was. He followed that up by saying he supports gay marriage. Nonetheless, he remains “anti-gay.”
The real absurdity in all of this? The current, nonsensical kerfuffle centers on TV commercials. You know, the advertising format that everyone claims is going away, on a medium that everyone says is, er, going away.
Thanks to lazy marketers like Doritos (who just announced, unsurprisingly, that it will once again let “customers” make its Super Bowl 2014 spots), today we are all Creative Directors. Just like that, we all understand customer targeting, product positioning, and customer experience.
Because if that were true, these same bandwagon humanists who are taking Barilla down would also ask General Motors: “Where are all the single moms in your ads?” They’d ask Ford: “How come there are no Hispanics in your pick-up truck ads?”
Or better yet, they’d ask the ad industry itself: “How come the percentage of black people in your agencies, digital ones especially, is less than 10% of what blacks represent in the population at large?”