A new US study has found that in 2008 the then Presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s skin was darkened in ads during the campaign by his rivals the Republicans. Still, to no avail, with the Democrat going onto win the White House after beating his Republican rival John McCain.
The results of the study were recently published in The Washington Post and suggested that by darkening Obama’s skin it may have played on the racial prejudices of some voters.
“The finding reinforces charges that some Republican politicians seek to win votes by implying support for racist views and ethnic hierarchies, without voicing those prejudices explicitly. The purported tactic is often called “dog-whistle politics” – just as only canines can hear a dog whistle, only prejudiced voters are aware of the racist connotations of a politician’s statement, according to the theory,” The Washington Post wrote.
However, it agreed that “dog-whistle politics” was common fare of many US politicians. Donald Trump’s recent attack on Latinos and Muslims a case in point.
A study of the 2008 US Presidential election by online publication Public Opinion Quarterly analysed 126 advertising campaigns during the Presidential race. It found that when his opponents wanted to show Obama in a particularly negative light “the producers almost always used images that made Mr Obama’s skin appear very dark”.
Some 86 per cent of the ads showed his skin tone to be in the darkest quartile.
Interestingly, Obama’s skin tone started out lighter but gradually darkened as the campaign went on while John McCain’s skin tone actually became whiter. Although the report didn’t suggest that this was done intentionally be the Republican party.
The report cited jurors who give harsher sentences to people with more traditional African features than they do those with lighter coloured skin tones.
To qualify the study, researchers showed images of Obama with different skin tones to a subject group. Forty five per cent of respondents were more likely to have a negative view of the President with darker skin versus a third of those when shown the image of him with a lighter tone.
Thrive PR Melbourne has kicked off the year with new appointments, promotions and a new leadership team, marking the delivery of a transformation strategy that’s seen the agency diversify and strengthen its corporate, consumer and integrated digital service offering in Victoria. Lead image: (L-R) – Sophie Maguire, Melanie Campbell, Nathan McGregor, Zoe Raknes, Erika Rutledge, […]
Forbes Australia has announced a slew of new speakers for its second annual Forbes Australia Women’s Summit: ‘Power Rising’. The ‘Power Rising’ event will take place at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Sydney, led by a star-studded line up of female speakers. “We often learn as much from stories of hardship and failure as we […]
Iconic Australian ad guru Russel Howcroft and industry up-and-comer Freddie Young from Good One Creative have today launched their experimental, no spin advertising podcast, AdMission, in partnership with 9Podcasts. AdMission tells the uncensored stories behind the world’s most talked about brands, ideas, campaigns, advertising news and industry screw ups, as well as offering sharp insight […]
B Corp shop Paper Moose promises all the paper in its name was recycled as it reveals new ethical investment campaign.
According to a new study from CPR First Aid has revealed that Aussies’ most Googled personal goal in the summer is losing weight, new research has found. Their next most researched summer objective is healthy eating, followed by drinking more water. This time of the year, Aussies want to stop snoring and quit smoking more […]
Businesses are integrating customer data platforms with AI and analytics to personalise customer experiences and drive business success, according to a new report from Twilio Segment. Lead image: Kathryn Murphy, SVP of product and design, Twilio. The fifth annual Customer Data Platform Report, which reflects the findings of anonymised usage data from Twilio Segment’s more […]
Word of Mouth Digital, a Sydney-based full-service digital marketing agency, has announced the addition of six diverse brands to its expanding client portfolio. Lead image: Alex and Tash Williams These new partnerships span various sectors, including pet care, cognitive health, home construction, wellness, and retail, showcasing the agency’s commitment to fostering growth through strategic collaboration […]