Thursday, July 14, 2011

Advertising Campaign Set To Shock! - When Is It Too Much? (Warning: Violent Images May Be Disturbing)

It's not uncommon these days to view graphic images as part of 'shock' campaigns to bring about emotive responses and sometimes even fear in the public. This is even true in Singapore - one just needs to look at the labelling on any packet of cigarettes.

However my question to you, my dear readers, is when do you feel that such campaigning has gone too far?

According to psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, the latest billboard campaign in Australia depicting graphic violence inflicted on police officers (including a glassing injury) could potentially be harmful to children.

The Police Association of Victoria launched the "shocking" images yesterday in an ongoing dispute over police pay.

Dr Carr-Gregg said that the ads had "the potential to cause significant anxiety among children". He continued on, "They are very graphic and whilst I totally support the Police Association and their bid for a pay rise, let's be very clear about this - this is an adult discussion and we shouldn't drag children into it".

He went on to say that he did not believe the campaign should be banned, however he has put a call out for the Victorian Police Association to ensure that children are not exposed to the violent pictures.

The images show the violent and even gory results of a policeman after being bashed, as well as a policewoman after being glassed while attempting to break up a fight.

In response, Police Union Secretary, Greg Davies, said "With more than 2000 police officers assaulted every year out of a force of 12,000 the odds aren't great that you're going to go home in the same condition that you left that morning... These are real people with real injuries being asked to take a real wage cut by the Government and it's just not good enough".

Below are a couple of other previous 'shock' campaigns.

From a 2008 commercial about the dangers of binge drinking:

From the 1996 'Bush Telegraph' road safety campaign:

The following is the Press Announcement from the Police Association of Victoria website:

Graphic ads highlight increasing danger of police work

The Police Association of Victoria will today escalate its pay campaign with graphic portrayals of bashings and assaults against police.

Mobile billboard ads show the results of a male officer being bashed and a female officer after being glassed while trying to stop a fight. Radio ads depict the voice of a policeman talking about receiving 50 stitches and a policewoman telling how she is now permanently disfigured.

Police Association Secretary Greg Davies said the two cases were examples of the dangerous nature of police work in protecting the community and why it is important that police are paid fairly.

“Serious assaults against police have risen by nearly 20 per cent in the past two years,” Sen‐Sgt Davies said.

“Whatever the cause, it shows that police work is becoming even more dangerous, yet we have a government that steadfastly refuses to even discuss reasonable pay rises for our police.”

Sen‐Sgt Davies said the rising physical risk of police work added more weight to their claim for a fair pay rise.

“The government cannot insult police with a sub‐inflation pay offer and at the same time expect them to take the hits in the street, while they watch politicians give themselves a pay rise well in excess of what they’ve offered us.”

Latest WorkCover figures show police made 3727 claims between June 2006 and May this year. This is on top of the fact that, in the 157 year history of the Victoria Police Force, 157 police officers have died at work.

Sen‐Sgt Davies called on the State Government to come to the negotiating table on the police enterprise bargaining agreement.

“The Police Association has been negotiating in good faith with negotiators from Victoria Police for eight months, but they have no authority to talk about money.

It’s time the government got serious and paid some respect to the men and women whose blood is being spilt to protect the Victorian community, instead of paying them lip service at election time.”

‐ ends ‐

Media opportunity:

What: A mobile billboard featuring the graphic images will be unveiled at a news conference today

Who: The news conference will be held by Sen‐Sgt Greg Davies, Secretary of The Police Association

Where: The Police Association building car park located on the corner of Clarendon and Albert Streets, East Melbourne

When: 10.15am, Thursday 14 July 2011

Media contact: Sandro Lofaro 0419 311 427

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