EW Praises Sexist Marketing as “Clever”

Entertainment Weekly is sending out PR plugging their cover feature naming District 9 the “must see movie of the summer”. You may remember this film as the subject of a sexist PR campaign that featured a contest open to men only, until outcry forced changes. OK, maybe the movie’s still great, and the publicity folks are the ones that made the mistakes. Still, I found this section of the EW coverage, included in the promotional email, particularly tone-deaf:

Awareness of the film has increased due to a clever viral marketing campaign, a “secret” screening for fanboys and bloggers at Comic-Con, celebrity tweets, and word of mouth.

Sexism is now “clever”? I have a hard time believing that no one at EW was aware of the fracas over all this. I guess it really is true that it doesn’t matter what people say as long as they’re talking about you.

6 Responses to “EW Praises Sexist Marketing as “Clever””

  1. Caroline Says:

    Could they be talking about something else? A contest doesn’t necessarily meet my definition of viral marketing. Not to say they should have glossed over the sexism but I can see if that wasn’t the focus.

  2. Thom Says:

    Yeah, they don’t actually name the contest-and as I recall, that contest was not set up by the studio, but IGN. That’s the only aspect of sexist marketing that I can see and it is ignored by EW (the actual showing of the film was always open to both genders). So, i think it is a bit of a leap to suggest that they are praising sexist marketing.

  3. Tommy Raiko Says:

    As early as last year’s San Diego, there were ads subtly promoting the movie–things like “For Humans Only” signs near restrooms and at transit stations. These didn’t overtly promote the movie, but did reinforce the movie’s apparent apartheid themes and did get some early talk going among fans. Even if that is the only thing the article is referring to, I have no real problem characterizing that as both clever and viral.

    Despite the sexist and botched plans for that IGN contest (which, sure, you could argue EW should have/could have at least mentioned) there does seem to be a lot more other, notable, praiseworthy (to the extent that marketing is ever praiseworthy) stuff done for the movie.

  4. Johanna Says:

    They most likely are talking about other things, but seeing Comic-Con placed so close in the sentence (since the contest was a trip to Comic-Con) brought back a lot of bad memories.

  5. moritheil Says:

    It’s back to the truism that there is no such thing as bad publicity, eh?

  6. Charles RB Says:

    I agree that it’s probably talking about the “Humans Only” posters rather than the competition.

    The competition was a bit daft for a film which has segregation and ostracisation though.




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