Blogless: Blog of Design Less Better.

Posts tagged Taxonomy of Unethical Designs.

Belvedere Ad Jokes About Date Rape

Not funny (or clever).

From the BlogLESS department of ugh.

Belvedere Date Rape Ad

Of course, Belvedere is now sorry that you were offended.

Belvedere Date Rape Ad Apology

What a mess. (Via.)

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PaulMar 30, 2012
 

Company caught wiretapping your kids’ IM chats

Boing Boing alerted us to a flagrant instance of shady design practice: an Internet child-protection software program that secretly monitors and sells kids' IM conversations to market research companies.

Here's one for the books (and for the DLB taxonomy of unethical designs). According to a recent AP article, parents who install Sentry and FamilySafe brand software to monitor their children's online activities may be unwittingly allowing the company to read their children's instant messages, and sell gathered marketing data from them.

Ultimate laptop privacy

The rest of this post writes itself.

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PaulSep 21, 2009
 

Evony

A chronological series of ads for an online game highlights the cheap advertising appeal of the misogyny strategy, and a blog post about it highlights its Achilles' Heel.

Coding Horror posted what just so happened to be an interesting follow-up to my post from last Monday later last week. Their post, How Not to Advertise on the Internet, is about the in-browser Civilization-style game Evony.

Jeff collected a series of advertisements for the game, and displayed them in chronological order. I've collected them from him and done the same below.

He's insistent that "these are real ads that were served on the internet. This is not a parody." Take a look:

Advertisements for Evony, in chronological order
Ads for Evony, in chronological order.

These ads are a perfect example of someone succombing to Seth's shortcut to cash when times are tough, and Jeff's blog post is itself yet another case substantiating DLB's first axiom: Be good, because when you're not, the Internet will call you on it.

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PaulJul 13, 2009
 

A Brief Survey of Recent Advertising Misogyny

You don't have to look far to turn up a shocking amount of truly disturbing misogyny in advertising.

A friend of ours recently sent us an email noting that of all the posts we've written about design and advertising ethics, we haven't ever touched on an important and prevalent unethical advertising phenomenon -- the degrading use of women in advertising.

A cursory glance at the landscape revealed everything from campaigns that feature women who appear to be dead to those that use gross sexual imagery to sell totally non-sexy products.

Misogynist Duncan Quinn advertisement
Duncan Quinn advertises suits with an image of a man who appears to have strangled an underwear-clad woman on the hood of a car.
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PaulJul 6, 2009
 

"Beyond Petroleum?"

As promised, this week DLB plans to drill into the BP brand and design strategy. Today: The research.

Back in July of 2000, British Petroleum, the world's third largest global energy company, launched a massive $200 million public relations and advertising campaign, unveiling their current "green" brand image, in an attempt to win over environmentally aware consumers. The campaign was created by the British advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, who later the PRWeek 2001 "Campaign of the Year" award in the 'product brand development'. All told, BP spent around $200m on the rebrand.

Logo for Ogilvy & Mather worldwide
The big ideal? What's that again?

The heart of the rebrand involved changing the company's name to BP (back from BP-Amoco, the result of a recent mega-merger), creating a wordmark in which small letters were used ("bp" was thought to have fewer imperialist associations than the erstwhile "BP"), and finally implementing a new corporate tagline, "beyond petroleum."

BP's then CEO John Browne said: "It's all about increasing sales, increasing margins and reducing costs at the retail sites." And it apparently did: During more than a decade with Browne as chief executive (ending last year), BP's market value rose fivefold and its share price rose 250 percent.

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PaulNov 17, 2008
 

Nuts and Bolts

Today, DLB's taxonomy of unethical designs looks at an instance where corporate penny-pinching really backfires.

A bunch of bolts and nuts

Has this ever happened to you? You buy a product that requires some assembly, get it home, grab your screwdrivers or allen wrenches, open up that little bag of nuts and bolts only to find that you're missing one? Good god, that is frustrating. Talk about a waste of everyone's time and money.

Since this has happened to me at least a few times, I can only expect that it's happening all the time to these companies. Now, maybe some people don't call the company (I myself sometimes just live with it, or take it back to the mega-store I bought it at, etc.), but I bet some others do just about every day.

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PaulNov 10, 2008
 

Down with Opt-Out

With today’s post, we are officially inaugurating a taxonomy of unethical designs. Our hope is that by collecting and categorizing all the questionable practices out there, we can uncover the thinking patterns that underlie unethical decisions and come up with alternatives.

If you’ve got a TV, you’ve probably seen those free credit report commercials in high rotation. Well, as it turns out, the report isn’t really free at all. To get it, you have to sign up for a trial membership in a credit monitoring service. Once that trial expires, you’ll be billed monthly until you cancel. The thing is, you probably didn’t know you were signing up for the membership or when the trial period took place. You may not even spot the charge on your credit card for some time. When you try to cancel, you find that you’re obligated to a one year membership.

And that, folks, is where "free" becomes unethical.

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NickNov 4, 2008