Jacques Séguéla : LUncle Bens is imbued with a history that we reject - The Point

Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, two familiar figures from the agri-food, should soon disappear from the supermarkets. Their black faces to smiles bright are today ac

Jacques Séguéla : LUncle Bens is imbued with a history that we reject - The Point

Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, two familiar figures from the agri-food, should soon disappear from the supermarkets. Their black faces to smiles bright are today accused of promoting " racial stereotypes ". Aunt Jemima, a black woman, iconic, which adorns the bottles of maple syrup and preparations for the pancake breakfast of Quaker Oats on the shelves in the u.s. since more than 130 years, will soon be completely erased and the famous mark, while Uncle Ben, himself, will simply be brought to " evolve ", said March, giant agri-food, without specifying what it would look like in the future.

According to the Americans who fought for their withdrawal, the two iconic characters would be "constant reminders" of the past pro-slavery and segregationist United States. These requests were made in line with the movement Black Lives Matter (The lives of Black matter), which reappears for more than a month in the United States, where millions of Americans appear to denounce the police violence done to African-Americans and, more broadly, racism in general, and the legacy of hundreds of years of slavery.

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For a few weeks, the debates – legitimate – around these issues, however, have had consequences for the cultural life and, now, on our lives as consumers. If the censorship around the filmAutant gone with the wind aroused a wave of emotion and outrage, including in France, the changes made by the marks could also be rather well received. To the difference of the works, engraved in their time, the brands, they are summed to evolve with their time, as explained in Point Jacques Séguéla, the famous French advertisement.

The Point : in The United States, some brands such as Uncle Ben's and Aunt Jemima announced that they were going to evolve their visual identity so as to not perpetuate any "stereotype" racial ". These brands give in to the pressure of the street ?

Jacques Séguéla is the co-founder of the communications agency RSCG, that is absorbed by the Havas group in 1996. © PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP Jacques Séguéla : The brands follow the trends of the time. It is common sense to recognize that a trademark should not be vulnerable to such sensitive topics as racism or slavery. In advertising, there are " public ", it should be understood that the pub, it is the sponge of the time, but also the mood and the beauty of the time. These brands do not give in to the pressure from the streets or social networks, they adapt to appeal to the largest number and use the product. Each time we can, it is necessary to improve the social relationships between a brand and its consumers. In regards to those brands that advertise a logo change, they might have even had to do it earlier... Pierre Dac said : "It is often too early to know that it is not too late. "To change a visual heavily loaded today, is to apply this maxim.

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These changes do not mean that everything will change, some ancestral values will remain, but others will add to that. We need to strive for an advertisement to be more ecological, more social... It wants to say, however, that it is necessary to rethink the entire sales process : from product design to advertising. It is those who know how to adapt to these values that will win the consumer race, and that, too, is transformed. Today we speak of the alterconsommation, we will move to consume less, to consume better, from the global to the local, all this without disturbing the conscience of anyone.

The logos of brands such as Uncle Ben's or Aunt Jemima were they really racist in your eyes ?

there was nothing racist in the name of " Uncle Ben's ". When the logo was created, there was a universe very cinematic, it was thought to gone with the wind, to the America of the south, the american civil war. The logo itself was not racist, it is the visualization that we had the support today of all these evils. It is now steeped in a history that is rejected today. We must therefore think an Uncle Ben completely different, more modern, more universal.

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It must not necessarily a change of skin colour, but perhaps lose some of the attributes connoted. Once again, times have changed and brands must adapt, as it has been the case with Banania. Before, it was the claiming that these names, slogans, and visuals were created to make people laugh, but today, the good heart has become bad spirit. This is why it is essential to engage in a transformation.

Should we be worried about advertising governed by a certain thought police, which will make the politically correct to an absolute norm ?

it is All a question of limits and balance. When one is advertising, one has no right that a product starts to shock the conscience. It should not hurt anyone, and change of land if this is the case, to avoid any graphics that might have connotations that are racist. But this does not mean that we do not have the right to exoticism or to the adventure ! It is obviously necessary to fight against the politically correct when he oversteps his rights, but keep in mind that the respect for the consumer must come first.

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Updated Date: 18 June 2020, 09:33

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