Online abuse against inclusive ads

Many businesses have realized that society is changing and that targeting their advertising campaigns to exclusively young, white, heterosexual, conventionally attractive people is not longer acceptable even as a purely marketing strategy, since the majority of consumers do not fit into that narrow demographic. But advertisements that include more diverse people seem to anger some people who then go on social media to rage in the ugliest ways against the people shown.

The UK’s Channel 4 TV station has put out some examples of ugly responses to these ads.

One wonders what drives people to say such things. They must be desperately bitter and unhappy people. But there seems to be little that can be done, other than condemn and ostracize them.


  1. says

    I can see how someone could be annoyed, irritated, dismayed, disgusted, disappointed, etc. by the existence of such abuse, but anyone who was shocked to see such hate hasn’t been paying attention to the world.

  2. says


    My experience has been that people who respond in this way are indeed “desperately bitter and unhappy people” marginalized by society and who are only able to create some bubble of good feeling about themselves by denigrating others they deem beneath them.

    When they see the targets of their bile lifted up they feel pushed even closer to the bottom.

    There is nothing new here, we only notice them more because of the platform created by the Internet.


  3. says

    I remember how this Cheerios commercial got such a racist reaction that the company had to close the comments, and now I can’t even find the original posting.

    We like to make ourselves feel better by thinking racism, homophobia, and other bigotries will go away when the older generation dies off. As we can see online or elsewhere (Charlottesville for example), this is far from reality. As a species we suck. We always have and always will.

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