Armani Exchange has a new ad campaign that has an AFA group riled up but really isn't all that interesting. They're going to put these posters up in their stores:
Meh. I don't really get off on brands trying to attach themselves to a certain group's mystique, risque-ness, or political cache. We have enough problems as it is, and it's not like our identity and sexuality should really be used by a corporation to make sure that its brand ends up on the right side of the culture wars. While the boys are hot, it's not like Armani put up the ad to be inclusive or anything - it'll attract the right kind of political attention and make them seem like proper liberals selling the appropriate clothing for forward-thinking homo- and metrosexuals.
And, of course, there's always a useful idiot available to complete the charade:
OMM typically focuses on issues that air on television, but there is one other issue we cannot ignore any longer: fashion designers using scantily dressed models in advertisements who have recently put their focus on threesomes or same-s*x couples. This is not okay!
Malls, where teens hang out, have retailers whose window displays poison our children with 10-foot posters that are nothing but soft p*rn. In particular, Armani Exchange has recently displayed Valentine's posters with partially dressed "couples" holding one another. These couples consist of two men, a man and woman, and two women. The women are scantily dressed while it is questionable if the men have any clothes on at all. Two of these models are used a couple of times to represent bis*xuals. If it could get any worse the text written is "SHARE THE LOVE." (An asterisk '*' is used to ensure our emails get through to those who have signed up for our alerts. Otherwise specific words referenced would be blocked by some Internet filters.)
Not every local mall has an Armani Exchange, but we need to take a stand since A|X is one of the fashion leaders and this is becoming a popular trend. You may view these on their website at www.armaniexchange.com. WARNING! Pictures are offensive.
And another fundie is attacking the ads in Kansas:
I can see part of their point - they don't really have a much of a choice about the sort of thing that goes up in a public space in their town. The AFA worries about teens at the mall (as if they haven't seen more than that, I know, I know), and, when you think about how the mall has replaced the town square as a place to meet and hang out. Yet they are usually completely private and opposed to any democratic discussion about the messages it sends within its walls in terms of advertising or the presence of outside protestors.
We have less public space now than ever before and it's all plastered with messages that we have no control over and no ability to respond to. I get that powerlessness, the feeling that I'm sure many people who care about what the AFA says get as well, but I guess the leadership at the AFA have to make sure that people's anger is directed at the fact that two dudes are kissing without any deeper criticism of the money and power involved (because what would be the point of a wedge issue if it didn't distract from important ones?).
On the other side of the culture war divide, I'm sure there will be gays and bisexuals and supportive straight people who'll proclaim with self-righteous anger that now they're going to shop at Armani Exchange to show their support for the campaign and piss off the AFA, apparently oblivious to the craven use of politics to mentally place a brand in all the meaningful cultural locations that will resonate with its target audience. Of course they knew the right would be pissed off with this ad; that why they created it! If Armani Exchange is OK with men and women showing affection and then "takes heat" for it, then that means that they're the right sort of people, right?
What are the chances that the fact that a fool is born every day went into Armani Exchange's calculation on how much this ad campaign could make?