Brands, markets and charitable ethics
Arthurs, J. (2009) Brands, markets and charitable ethics. In: Edinburgh International Conference on Film Audiences, Edinburgh Film House, Scotland, March 2009.
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MTV’s EXIT campaign to raise awareness about the trafficking of women highlights the difficulties faced by charitable organisations when using audience research to evaluate the effectiveness of their media campaigns. To connect with audiences whose ethical and political commitments have been shaped within a media saturated, capitalist culture, they risk reinforcing the positioning of women’s bodies as consumable products in a pleasure oriented service economy and further normalisation of the practices the campaigners are seeking to prevent. To be effective in the longer term charities require an ethical approach to media campaigns that recognises their political dimension and the shift in values required.