Toshiba Print Ad Gives Us Salesgenie Deja Vu


We found this print ad for Toshiba's Smartcard technology in a recent business mag. It features a white executive and a bespectacled Indian IT guy holding the lead on a big dog.

The header copy reads, "Finance & IT: Working Together to Keep the Bad Guys Out."

Supporting text describes how execs will love Smartcard technology because it maintains data integrity and exceeds gov mandates for controlling access. And IT will love it because it "ensures user authentication with an ID card." (We know we get a thrill every time we're digi-frisked.)

Sooo. Is it racist, bad product positioning or right on the (executive!) money?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-12-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Bad, Brands, Magazine   

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Seems like a pretty spot-on ad to me. It's not aimed at a general audience, it's targeted toward people for whom data security is a major professional concern. If you're stressing security, a somewhat authoritarian look would seem to be appropriate, and they're careful to not to overdo it - the IT guy is dressed casually, and the dog, while it's an intimidating large doberman, isn't posed in an overtly hostile way.

Now I don't like it when I'm "digi-frisked," I also find it annoying when my IT dept. makes me change my password every month. But I'm not the target audience for this ad.

Posted by: EJ on February 13, 2008 12:30 AM

I think it's racist. The stereotyping of white guys as powerful corporate execs has to stop. It's such an archaic and myopic viewpoint to take to an ad.

Posted by: Call me Earnest on February 13, 2008 9:56 AM

It's certainly lame, but I don't see the racist slant. Perhaps if the Doberman was mauling one guy or the other, the alarm bells would go off. But then again, I'd probably inclined to give it more than a dismissive glance.

Posted by: M.M.McDermott on February 13, 2008 1:02 PM


you're freaking kidding right?

Stereotypical maybe, but we're getting to be a bunch of oversensitized wussbags if we think this is racist.

Posted by: colmotor on February 13, 2008 3:03 PM