The recent Mark Knight caricature depicting tennis player Serena Williams published in Herald Sun has caused worldwide furore, with many condemning its racist and sexist undertones.
As the uproar over the caricature continues, it is also important to address how the cartoon, and News’ reaction to it, may influence brands looking to advertise with the publisher.
Speaking to B&T, Carat’s head of strategy for Sydney, Danni Wright, questioned, “What is the impact and what potential negative halo will it have?”
“I think it’s right for brands to react, I wouldn’t be surprised if a brand said, ‘we don’t want to appear in that publication’.
“While brands cannot and should not pertain to control where they appear down to the level of editorial coverage, there will be brands who have a strong steer on their identity and what they stand for, who find themselves at odds with the publication given its response to it.”
“If I was having a conversation with clients about it I would be open with my views,” Wright added.
While social media users were quick to criticise Knight and Herald Sun, News Corp was equally as quick to defend Knight, with Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston stating: “A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark’s cartoon depicted that. It had nothing to do with gender or race.”
Meanwhile, News executive chairman Michael Miller posted on LinkedIn: “Criticism of Mark Knight’s Serena Williams cartoon shows the world has gone too PC & misunderstands the role of news media cartoons and satire.
“Poor behaviour in any sport needs to be called out,” he added.
However for Wright, “The way they’ve reacted and then doubled down says a lot about their ethos.”
Speaking on the criticism, Wright said the most problematic issue with the cartoon is how Williams has been portrayed next to her Haitian-Japanese opponent, Naomi Osaka.
“In this day and age, it’s inexcusable how they depicted Serena and the opponent.
“A caricature dials up something that’s already there, but as they’ve done that in comparison to her competitor, they’ve changed Osaka’s race and stature and made her look very feminine.
“It’s the polarity of the comparison.
“It becomes really stark that if you’re permissive and the victim in the situation then you’re white and feminine whereas, Serena is depicted as the polar opposite,” Wright added.
B&T has approached News Corp for comment.
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]
Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]
Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]
According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]
Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]
Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]
Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]
The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]
Shop! ANZ is calling on shopper and retail marketing professionals from all retail related disciplines to participate in the first ANZ Shopper and Retail Marketing Industry Survey in four years. This important research provides a guide of where the retail marketing industry in Australia and New Zealand has come from and what is anticipated to […]