Empower your people

At work, someone sent round a link to the now-famous Microsoft Poland face-switch.
http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/25/marketing-decapitation-in-poland-asians-ok-blacks-maybe-not/
Microsoft Promotional Image
Same image, with one head replaced with another.

Their only comment was: “is this racist?”.

Good question. I’ve been thinking about this as I see it circulate, and every time I see it, I come more and more to notice how wrong the original is.

Seriously, an oriental (asian, if you’re american) guy, a black guy and a woman? Even their computers are different colours. Frankly I’m surprised there’s no-one is in a wheelchair, or wearing a rainbow.

It’s hideously staged.

Microsoft Poland have drawn attention to it by photoshopping it, obviously to what they thought would work better in Poland. Is that any worse than what MS did in the first place: something so horribly PC that it looks like it was produced by our local council?
(Incidentally, this is an interesting point: PC is different in England and the US. In England, to be PC you’d need an Asian [US: read indian/pakistani/etc] in there, someone older, and probably a single-parent family).

I can’t wait until we get photos just with three people in. If you show me three business people, I’ll connect with it no matter what colours they are. Frankly, if they’re well-dressed cats, I’ll get it. To me, MS only showed that they still look at the colour of people’s skin, in the US and in Poland.

All this has drawn more people to PhotoShop Disasters – a site which shows above all else, how much photoshopping happens. So I think there’s a valid question about whether the 3 people in the original were actually in the original original.

Finally, I’ll finish with something less controversial. Who presents with the screen behind them??? She’ll get all kinds of neck strain. Health and Safety should have a word.