Forget About Selling Sex This Holiday Season: Col. Russell Williams Creep Factor A Huge Turn Off - PR In Canada
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Forget About Selling Sex This Holiday Season: Col. Russell Williams Creep Factor A Huge Turn Off

What cave have the people at W Network and Ipsos Reid been living in? On October 20, W Network revealed the results of their Come Dine With Me/Ipsos Reid survey on dinner party etiquette, meant to spark interest in the Canadian launch of the Come Dine with Me dinner party television series. Among the findings released were that one in ten Canadians have ‘hooked up’ with a fellow guest they met at a party, two in ten played footsie under the table, and 60 percent are comfortable talking about sex at a party. These factoids would normally be interesting food for thought, but given that the nation is currently gripped by the ugly Russell Williams serial rapist/killer murder trial, W’s timing was off.

Sex is not a sexy topic these days. After the recent flood of grisly Williams lingerie mentions and photos in the news, I predict that women’s underwear will not be at the top of anyone’s 2010 Christmas list.

Timing is one of the factors professional communicators must consider when releasing information, whether to key stakeholders or to the wider public at large. The daily news can profoundly influence what people are thinking and feeling, and communicators should stay on top of what is appropriate content in relation to what is going on in the world around them. Come Dine with Me Canada premieres November 1.
Sandra Upeslacis is President of IDEASPEAK Public Relations. [email protected]

Jackie

Timing is certainly a factor. But when EXACTLY SHOULD the W network send out their 'findings'?r nr nI would argue that it is NEVER a good time to "sell sex". r nr nThis most recent horror is sadly one in the ongoing horrors that are happening every minute of every hour of every day. Around the world. r nr nAre people GRIPPED by this most recent horror because it IS IN FACT so gory and people are EATING UP every last horrible bit of it? It wouldn't be newsworthy if people weren't interested.r nr nAnd I am doubtful that people who are in committed relationships have stopped having sex or wearing lingerie because of this trial.r nr nDon't be too quick to judge the w-network – EVERYTIME someone sells sex it could be argued that someone has suffered BECAUSE of a sexual crime. So why pick on this particular incident? r nr nYou say "The daily news can profoundly influence what people are thinking and feeling, and communicators should stay on top of what is appropriate content in relation to what is going on in the world around them" – sex, then should NEVER be "sold" given the horrors AROUND THE WORLD that happen on a daily basis. r n r nr nWouldn't you agree?

    Sandra Upeslacis

    The W network could have waited until the end of October, or November 1 — the launch day of their show, or, they could have changed the focus of the survey to make it less focussed on sex. The point I was making is that survey release dates and content can be flexible. Communicators should pay attention to what is top of mind with consumers, and what they may or may not find offensive at specific moments in time.r nr nLingerie ads and other sexually explicit subject content is everywhere, every day. It's a part of modern life. Whether we like it or not, sex is sold in more ways than one and it is a part of the cultural mainstream in our society. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but it is out there.

Jackie

My point was – if they were to wait until there was a time when there were no sexual horrors occuring then they would NEVER have been able to release their results. When one horror show ends, another is always waiting in the wings. So to say THEY are wrong doesn't seem fair. Would be interesting to get their take on the release.

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