Tuesday, January 24, 2006

This is just ... Strange...

I've seen a lot of web-based advertising, from Amazon.com to web portals for brick-&-mortar chains to viral marketing (such as the pigeon-defying Ford SportKa ) and really slick ads for really average booze( like this one). I thought I'd seen the gamut of dumb ads as well. Till I saw this one linked at Coeruleus, who didn't quite believe it either.

I've never before seen an appeal to suburban teen angst and really dubious fashion sense in order to solicit funding for violent revolutionary groups such as FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia) and PFLP (Popular Front for The Liberation of Palestine). Yet this is exactly what the "Fighters + Lovers" website does.

You can buy (if you are dumb enough) tees and support the site's operators who
claim they are
"greatly in debt to the stylish classic coolness of Palestinian fighter Leyla Khaled and the funky outrageous style of Colombian guerrilla commander Jacobo Arenas. Our Collection 2006 is inspired by the style and principles of these legendary fighters.
I haven't seen such blatant pandering to idiocy since the mail solicitation I got from the GOP looking for money because GW had "kept us safe from terrorists."

You pick your Tee (choice of a couple of logos), you go to their wire-transfer site, feed it some money from your credit card, wire the money to these bozos and wait for the mailman to deliver your Hip! Kewl! Stuph!

Meantime somebody has hacked the wire-transfer site and emptied your credit card reserves.

On their "About us" page they say
"In a world obsessed with envy and hate, Fighters+Lovers dares to speak up for brotherhood"
Which is why they are giving money to PFLP. Right. No hate there at all. Yep.

And just to add that little frisson of being naughty, they post the following disclaimer under "Legal Notice":
"To be a Fighters+Lovers customer you must be 18 years or older. When you buy Fighters+Lovers products you might experience legal problems because of US or EU "antiterrorist" legislation, outlawing financial support to organizations labelled as "terrorists", including the PFLP and the FARC. But anyway, when was the last time you listened to someone who told you what you couldn't wear?"
Hey, don't let anything like laws get in the way of your actions, right?

If it works for G.W., Karl Rove and Scooter, why not you?

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