Thursday, March 08, 2007

Life imitates. . . .commercials 'Stone Age' called insult
"All anthropologists would agree that the negative use of the terms 'primitive' and 'Stone Age' to describe tribal peoples has serious implications for their welfare," the British-based Association of Social Anthropologists said Tuesday. "Governments and other social groups have long used these ideas as a pretext of depriving such peoples of land and their resources."
The edict is the result of a kerfuffle that began last March when Jenny Tonge, a Liberal Democrat member of Parliament, described two Botswana tribes as "trying to stay in the Stone Age" and "primitive" during a spirited debate. Though she later said she was misunderstood, Mrs. Tonge was criticized in the British press as "primitive" herself.

. . .

It presents an odd cultural moment for the Martin Agency, a Richmond-based advertising agency that created sullen cave men characters to market Geico insurance. The wildly successful campaign features well-dressed but disgruntled Neanderthals arguing against the use of cave man images to market Geico's claims department -- "so easy a cave man could do it."

. . .

"Anthropologists side with Geico's cavemen," said Ted Nudd of Adweek, an industry publication.

For once, I am nonplussed.