Criticisms of Tom’s Shoes are not new. But this is a new angle. The new campaign shows mostly rich white people enjoying the native beauty of Haiti. A company whose espoused aims include helping the developing nations of the world probably shouldn’t launch an ad campaign that gets them accused of what is, in effect, colonialism. A friend who has done substantial development work in Haiti says, “that poster is just horrible — that is not Haiti.” >>>
LINK: This is Haiti, according to TOMS (by Tom Murphy for Humanosphere)
A recent TOMS ad campaign claims to showcase “Haiti’s vibrant culture, globally influential art and amazing natural beauty.” It’s filled with images of foreigners traveling across the country. Notably missing are Haitians – in particular, Haitians who work at the TOMS factory near Port-au-Prince.
TOMS featured Haiti as a part of a campaign five years after an earthquake devastated the country. The aim was to highlight the country, TOMS’s work in it, and, most important, sell its shoes, bags and other goods. But the campaign ends up putting models wearing TOMS front and center, the small country provides the scenery. Hardly a highlight…..
What do you think?
See also: Buying TOMS shoes is a terrible way to help poor people (from Vox)