Hey JAG/Public Affairs:military slandered in Penguin book ad

Penguin Books is running a full-page national newspaper ad saying:
"Hip Hop, Death Metal, Video Games, Internet Porn, Trash TV: MEET THE NEW AMERICAN WARRIOR."

The book is called "Generation Kill" and it's a NY Times bestseller that's now being developed into an HBO movie. I read an excerpt of the book on Amazon.com - it's actually VERY good, to my surprise. My problem is NOT with the book itself!

The advertisement says: "Generation Kill... Hip Hop, Death Metal, Video Games, Internet Porn, Trash TV: MEET THE NEW AMERICAN WARRIOR. Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright spent two months with the First Recon Battalion -- or, as they call themselves, the "First Suicide Battalion"' -- as they led the assault on Baghdad. At times funny, at times frightening, this is a brutally honest, personal look at today's new breed of soldier."

First of all, that's a Marine BN, but I think the ad suggests it's Army.
But that's nothing compared to the OUTRAGEOUS and INSULTING list of the military's alleged R&R habits, like Internet Porn! And what's wrong with Hip Hop? The inclusion of Hip Hop on that list of sins smells racist to me.

So that's why I was surprised to read the book's excerpt - I was expecting sleaze, but the author writes VERY intelligently and professionally about war tactics and strategy, including quotes from Marines, who also sounded intelligent and professional! The book is respectful, but the AD is a slap in our faces - especially the face of the serviceman (can't tell what branch) clearly shown in a huge photo on the cover. I wonder if, when the photo was taken, he knew it would appear in millions of newspapers representing death, trash and porn!

If I'm overreacting, feel free to disregard this message (sorry it's so long). But perhaps someone could contact Penguin Books. http://www.penguin.com

here's info on the book, including the excerpt:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0399151931/104-8729368-2826307

Thanks for your attention...
Original Post
[quote:c9c1cb475e]"Hip Hop, Death Metal, Video Games, Internet Porn, Trash TV[/quote:c9c1cb475e]

sounds like the typical American teenager to me ... like one who just graduated high school and joined the Military....

some people expect the Army (or the Military for that matter) to be able to exorcise every civilian "demon" out of their fresh recruits, but certain habits are hrder to break

honestly, it sounds to me like they are doing what the media normally does: looks for the shocking tag line to grab attention. got yours, didn't it? would you have read that review otherwise?
[quote:e5169b96a9="Bradmeister"]
honestly, it sounds to me like they are doing what the media normally does: looks for the shocking tag line to grab attention. got yours, didn't it? would you have read that review otherwise?[/quote:e5169b96a9]

You make a good point. To answer your question honestly: no, I probably would not have pursued the issue further if the advertising copywriter had not used those incendiary terms (porn, trash TV, etc.).

However.
I've worked in advertising and public relations, and that advertisement is simply unprofessional. It's misleading and tasteless. Of COURSE servicemen (and women) look at porn, listen to death metal, etc. But Penguin Publishing has no business painting us like that, as if those are the only things we do. And that list of vices doesn't even reflect the majority of the book! It's a really good book, and those vices make up only a small percentage of its content. Clearly, Penguin's advertising people were looking to grab attention, and YES, it worked. Maybe I'm being a goody-two-shoes, but the ad is ethically wrong.

The more I think about it, the more my anger focuses on the use of a REAL serviceman's photo. Who is he? I guarantee that he was not informed that his face would be plastered all over the nation's newspapers next to words like porn, trash and death. And I really don't think I'm over-reacting on that point.

FYI, I tried to find a copy of the ad on the internet so you can judge for yourselves, but no luck.

Thanks for reading... think about it...
I also find it unprofessional to use those type of words to describe any member of the Military. Unfortunately, I've dealt with enough advertising in my time to know their tricks. Yes, it is misleading ... and I hate the trick where you take someone who is considered "above the rest" (as we are, most consider us heroes) and show them in a way that makes them "just like the normal guy"

oh, and I fixed your tag as well

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