Remember last week's story about the controversial HIV prevention campaign in Philadelphia that showed young black men in the cross hairs of a rifle? The ad agency responsible for that debacle, err campaign, has fired back to critics.
"Bang, Bang: You're Dead": In a new article by reporter Kellee Terrell at Poz, the monthly magazine that chronicles the HIV epidemic, the agency says their approach (website) was totally appropriate: “This campaign is about saving lives,” says Mark Norris, the president of Zigzag, the black-owned ad agency that created the PSA.
Norris disagrees that the sensational adverts are "another incendiary stereotype suggesting that guns and violence are the only language African-American men can understand." Instead, he says, it was an attempt to curb the escalating seroconversion rates in the black community—especially among gay black men. He adds, "MSMs or men on the ‘down low’ are so hard to reach that fear is the most effective way. Do you pussyfoot around and spend government tax dollars on a campaign that you know won’t work?”
More aggressive prevention efforts might or might not be the ticket—Dr. David Malebranche is quoted, saying "using fear as a last [desperate] resort is garbage"—but it's certainly topical. The current issue of the Advocate focuses on the underground raw sex party business in New York City and the activists fighting the trend.
Raw Sex Parties "Peddling Death" (Keith Boykin)
Previously:Philly Anti-HIV Campaign Definitely Not a "Hit" (Rod 2.0) Un-Brotherly Love: Black vs Black and Gay (Rod 2.0) (Virtual) Sex and the City (Rod 2.0) "Stop the Hate" (Rod 2.0) Pier Kids (Rod 2.0)