Motorola’s Super Bowl ad showed Megan Fox sexting fans from her bathtub while wondering about the impact her photo may have on viewers. We were supposed to find it funny that electric wires ignite, fights erupt and a guy falls off a ladder because his buddy is too busy ogling her image on his phone to care.
The ad isn’t funny, it’s reprehensible. It flies in the face of the cell phone safety, privacy, and self-respect concepts taught to teens, and it disregards the devastating consequences some youth have faced because of their sexting an image.
Sexting has turned many teen lives upside-down when their photos took on a life of their own, falling into the possession of people never intended by the sender, or used by the recipient in cruel ways. Sexting has resulted in the arrest of minors in Pennsylvania, Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and Utah, and quite possibly additional states. These kids face jail time and a record on sex offender registries.
For some kids, the harassment, bullying and humiliation they face after their photos become public is such a burden they have had to change schools or move. In the most tragic cases, youth may feel they have no other option than to take their own life like Hope Witsell and Jessica Logan.
I strenuously object to the criminalization of kids who have made poor choices and taken, sent or received sexting photos. It is tragic that we struggle to help teens in the aftermath of humiliation and harassment when their images get out of their control.
I am disappointed that Ms. Fox failed to consider the impact of the ad’s underlying message on young women and her role in perpetuating the idea that the way girls should get attention is by being self-exploitive, sexualized objects. It is sad that given her position in the limelight, she failed to make better use of her influence.
Mostly, I am disgusted that a company with the brand recognition and size of Motorola, and who markets their products to teens would show such unconcealed poor judgment.
The real message from Motorola’s Super Bowl ad is that Motorola sorely needs a refresher course in social responsibility.
If you don’t like their actions, vote with your pocketbook. There are plenty of other phone manufacturers with phones for sale.