I saw a billboard in Times Square the other day that was advertising the television series Gossip Girls. It pictured a couple making out, and the headline read “OMFG.” My reaction to it was strange: on the one hand, it was clearly aimed at the 18- to 30-year-old crowd. I give them kudos for understanding their target audience and speaking their target audience’s language. It’s a good lesson to remember that, now in the midst of multicultural/diversity communications, we now need to speak the language of the various generations. It’s just another language to learn.
But on the other hand, I was disappointed in the agency that developed the ad and the brand manager that approved the ad. My reaction was, “Okay, so now, this is the way that we get around standards? Is it okay to swear in headlines, as long as we don’t actually say the words?”
I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but it just didn’t seem right.