World News #10 – Buy More
“What begins as a push for change becomes an invisible force telling us that we must buy specific items and wear certain logos so we can feel better about ourselves, and if we go along, we do so not because we care but because we don’t want to feel left out. What good this does for people in need of help isn’t always clear, but it’s great for the brands, because all they have to do is slap logos on a few products and/or advertisements and throw a few pennies to charity to make themselves seem socially conscious. These logos are an embodiment of magical thinking, promising that you can do good without having to actually do anything. They’re shams, basically. Now, we’ve got another one.”
“Read generously, this is just marketing jargon (“brands … an asset … consumer engagement”) wrapped around an admission that no one has any idea whether or not No More actually does anything tangible for groups fighting domestic violence and sexual assault. Taken at face value, as it probably should be, it suggests that the measure of success for No More isn’t whether it actually directs new funding to, say, hotlines, shelters, and lawyers, but whether those who are already fighting domestic violence use No More branding in their own fundraising operations.”
“But before you run and hide from the latest on-trend cause célèbre, take a moment to think about the logic of what No More is doing. You know why they are doing this? Because it works. Because it makes money. Because we love pretending to care, especially when a brand makes it easier for us to do by removing all the pain, horror, darkness, and self-reflection and turning concern for others into products—preferably ones that can be worn. Do those teenage boys wearing “I Heart Boobies” really care about breast cancer? Probably not, but at least they’re thinking about it, right? And even if they don’t think about it, they generated money (a nickel on the dollar, maybe, but better than nothing) for a good cause!
This is how low our standards are. Gesture toward a good cause and you’re practically unassailable. No More gave Goodell and the NFL a cheap and perfect way out of a public relations disaster and we shouldn’t be surprised. We do the exact same thing every day when we throw on our Toms, our pink baseball hats, and our latest rubber bracelet of choice, shopping our way into another day with pure hearts and clean consciences.”
– Deadspin, No More, The NFL’s Domestic Violence Partner, Is A Sham.
“There are many organizations doing great and important work to prevent domestic violence and spread awareness of it. But the NFL, curiously, is using the power of its brand and of a Super Bowl audience of more than than 100 million to draw attention to No More, described by the New York Times as a “coalition among various groups combating domestic violence and sexual assault” with a staff of four part-time consultants and no full-time employees. Note that there’s one word absent from the Times report and No More’s website: nonprofit.
I’m not quite sure what No More is. It doesn’t call itself a nonprofit, and nonprofit tracker GuideStar had no 990 forms for any groups with that specific name. There’s not much information on No More’s website itself. I searched for a mailing address, an office, or even a state it might be registered in but found nothing except “location: nationwide.” The link to donate gives you a page listing other domestic violence groups. When I clicked on “who is behind no more,” I hoped to finally find some people’s names.”
“The most concrete information available on No More comes from domain registry records, which show the nomore.org URL, which was purchased some time between Jan. 25 and April 11 of 2012, is owned by Fifth & Pacific, better known as Kate Spade. That’s more than a little interesting for the way it directly ties together one of the brands for which the NFL’s new partner in the fight against domestic-violence advertisement appears to be an image-laundering front and the marketing and crisis management specialist who was brought in when the league badly needed to clean up its tarnished image.”
– Deadspin, Do The NFL’s Anti-Domestic Violence Initiatives Actually Even Exist?
Download the 18″x24″poster (.pdf), World News #10 – Buy More (Domestic Violence).
World News is a project by David Bernie that uses the medium of posters that promote issues and stories from around the world.
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