1. Original Ad
Controltonight.com was a website (no longer active) created by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in attempt to promote safe drinking. They published numerous ads with what seems to be an attempt to show what could go wrong when drinking irresponsibly. However, with this ad as well as others, it seems as though they have missed their mark. The result is not giving off the impression that one should drink responsibly, but blames victims who have been raped after drinking. Blaming victims of sexual assault is very present in today’s society and this ad exemplifies one of the all too common cases where victim blaming occurs. Having the sentence “See what happens when your friends drink too much” under the words “Date Rape” can also be putting the blame on the friends of the victim who were also drinking and therefore did not stop the rape from occurring. What this ad fails to do is mention the rapist who committed the crime and raped someone. It’s as if they are not in the equation of how this person ended up on the floor with her underwear around her ankles. The site received some backlash after publishing ads such as this one. They also had the same photo with the words “She didn’t want to do it, but she couldn’t say no” on another ad giving off the impression that since she couldn’t say no, (due to alcohol) she was raped. Not mentioning the fact that someone didn’t let her consent and took advantage of her. Since the cite is no longer running, I found the ad in a Huffington Post article outlining the controversy of this advertisement.
3. Jammed Ad
4. Explanation of jammed photo
When jamming this advertisement, I made two changes. Firstly, I added the sentence “Because it’s their fault. Not the rapist’s” under the sentence explaining why the rape wasn’t prevented. The reason I made this change was to outline exactly what this ad is displaying. The ad is essentially blaming the friends of the person who was raped for being too intoxicated to help stop the rape from occurring. It disregards any of the responsibility the rapist has in the rape occurring (which is all of the responsibility). The second change I made was change “controltonight.com”, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s site, to “VictimBlameTonight.com”. This ad blames the sexual assault on the victim. The message to control ones’ alcohol is lost in this very intense and misleading ad. The major message it transmits is that since the victim did consume alcohol, they are the ones to be blamed to their assault. I think my ad illustrates the unfortunate reality of how many sexual assault victims are treated. Instead of placing blame on the perpetrator, they justify the rape or assault by saying the victim was drunk, wearing revealing clothing or a lot of makeup, etc. I tried to emphasize the faults the original ad had by making the statements more obvious. Through the exaggeration of the original ad, I hope to show what message this ad, as well as others that follow a similar trend, gives off and hopefully the intensity of it shows why we shouldn’t have ads like these in our society. Although I do not think the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board had bad intentions, it’s ads like these that continue to solidify the notion that we should be blaming the victims of sexual assault rather than the person committing these crimes.
Bibliography: Rotondi, J. P. (2017, December 07). Does This Liquor Ad Blame Rape On Victims? Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/pa-liquor-board-ad-accuse_n_1137435