Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Reject Sexual Violence

Sometimes it pays to be a very small business.

Last week was a perfect example. My business development department (Me), sat down with my advertising department (Me) to talk about the results of the new ad campaign.

Business Development: So how are things going?

Advertising: Well, I’ve got good news and bad news…

BD: What’s the good news?

Ads: The good news is that market awareness for the brand has gone up 380% in two weeks.

BD: That’s fucking awesome. So what’s the bad news?

Ads: The bad news is that the vast majority of our growth has been among demographic groups associated with misogyny and sexual violence. Based on the sampling, the marketing department (Me) thinks that people like the FB page because they think our material is about sexual violence, particularly against women.

BD: But that’s not our message! There is no sexual violence in our products. Everything we put out is sex positive and if anything it portrays women from a position of sexual power.

Ads: I’m not disputing that. I’m just telling you what marketing is getting from the data.

BD: Can we be sure about that assessment?

Ads: Nope. But management (Me) doesn’t want to take any chances. We already got that angry letter from that university doctor at launch, remember? The PR department (Me) doesn’t want the Sex and Violence brand to blow up in our faces, so we’re going to scrap it. Management wants us to rebrand the series, tweak the ads and get out in front of this thing before things get out of hand.

BD: Fine. But can all that be done before the August launch? We’ve already got two books in the pipeline and the launch date is Friday.

Ads: It’s not a problem. The creative department (Me) is working on a new tag line and new graphics. The PR department is changing all the bios and I’m going to change the ads as soon as everything is in place. We should be set by the start of business Monday, as long as we don’t get any push back from Facebook.

BD: Fine. So what do you need me to do?

Ads: Go get editorial (Me) to write a blog post about the name change and find a way to make it entertaining…

BD: What’s the new name?

Ads: We’re calling it Sex, Lies and Spies. Later on we’ll shorten it to SLS, but we’ll probably wait for Christmas to do that.

BD: We’ll it’s not as catchy as Sex and Violence…

Ads: It’s not as toxic either and it probably won't get us into any trouble. So get going. We need to have this done before the 26th

So here we are. Let me restate this just to be perfectly clear; some of the stories I write contain explicit sexual scenes. Some of the stories I write contain emotional, physical and psychological violence. But there is no sexual violence in my work. My affection and admiration for women is too high for me to abuse women, even in fiction.

Luckily, my company is small enough to make changes without too much trouble. This is one instance when having a split personality is actually helpful.

Have fun.

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