Most racist ad ever?

We were away for a few days but it’s never too late to note THAT Chinese detergent advert - you know, the one where the black guy gets put into the washing machine and comes out Asian. But is this the most racist advert ever as certain sections of the Western press have been very keen to insist? Not so says Adweek in a column that takes to task the smug reporting coming out of Europe and the US. It notes that there’s a “tradition of racist soap ads that has a long history in America, and Britain too. These vintage ads for Pearline and Pears soaps are just as 'jaw-droppingly racist' as the Qiaobi [brand] one.” Neither is the Chinese ad that original in its concept. “As Shanghaiist also pointed out, it's a ripoff of an Italian campaign from a decade ago,” writes Adweek.

Returns culture pushes up the price and sustainability cost of fashion

Sixty three percent of 1000 female online shoppers in the UK said they had sent back at least one item in the last six month. The research found that people aged 18-24 were twice as likely as their parents to do online shopping using their smartphones. This immediacy of purchase is creating a culture of buy now and evaluate later, the BBC reports. Not only does this push up the price of clothes because retailers have to cover the costs of offering free returns but it also creates a sustainability headache in terms of transportation footprint and waste. About 5% of items returned have to be “binned” the BBC writes.

Iceland’s hot water energy solution

As part of its Future of Power series The Guardian heads to Iceland and profiles its geothermal energy system. This renewable energy powder keg of a nation has six geothermal power facilities but none more impressive than Hellisheiði, a 300MW-generating plant not far from Reykjavik. As the Guardian explains, “What makes Hellisheiði particularly innovative is that, as well as electricity, it produces a hot water supply” for the capital. “Once the steam has been extracted, the remaining geothermal water is diverted to a heat exchanger, where it is used to heat up a supply of fresh, mains water.”

When eagles attack…drones

Who needs biomimicry when you can train nature to tackle technology. In this case it’s less tackle than grapple, intercept and bring to earth as eagles are being trained to take out nosey private drones, the New York Times reports. The birds are being trained in the Netherlands and could be deployed to protect airfields and combat terrorist plots. 

Why media orgs fall for fake news

Finally today, The Columbia Journalism Review looks at the preponderance of fake news stores circulating online and analyses why so many supposedly reputable news organisations fall for them. “In striving for traffic, prolific output, and social media hype, some newsrooms have prioritized the quick and provocative, while undervaluing reporting. This system has allowed fake news sites to essentially develop best practices to fool journalists.” Sad but very true.

 

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