Microsoft Replaces Black Man With White Man In Photo

Microsoft Replaces Black Man With White Man In Photo.

I cannot remember how I found this blog entry about Microsoft editing a photo for the Polish market, replacing a black businessman’s head with that of a white man. There were predictably a lot of Microsoft hate comments and some name calling. Rather than jump into that fray – I thought I’d comment here.

  1. No one would have objected if Microsoft had substituted a different picture in the Polish ad. But to do a Photoshop job and “cut off” the black man’s head, replace it with somebody else’s and not change the hands is crass. It wasn’t a unique photo: like someone shaking hands with Bill Gates and Steve Balmer. They could get a stock photo of people at a conference table looking interested and happy for pennies in royalties.
  2. There are no secrets any more. Just like the Czech grocery store who appropriated a happy family photo from the internet for their advertising, somebody will find out sooner or later.
  3. Quite possibly it was done by an agency in Poland. They received the US ad and had an urgent deadline to translate the text, “localize” and publish it. I am certain it wasnt a conspiracy in Redmond, WA. But the damage done by embarrassment is huge. If the ad’s got Microsoft’s name on it then they’re responsible – and people love to hate Microsoft.
  4. The whole thing could be a hoax.
  5. I think it is great that people are sensitive about this kind of thing but sad it opens up so much hate-filled debate.

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One Response to “Microsoft Replaces Black Man With White Man In Photo”

  1. BKKPhotographer Says:

    Another phrase that makes me wince: “learn more” or “let me give you my marketing message disguised as education”.

    I guess the idea is that people resist marketing messages but they’re receptive to learning.

    It is over used on the net.

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