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IBM’s moronic new ad about China

If you live in a America and you have watched any television in the last couple weeks, you have likely seen some of IBM’s “help desk” commercials, the company’s attempt to, as Reuters phrases it, “put a human face on the services it offers.” In IBM’s whitewashed parallel cyber-universe, friendly, soft-spoken people sit behind desks waiting to help real people solve their real-people problems. “We wanted to show that we’re not just talking about technology for technology’s sake … but things that affect not only business but the world and society at large,” said Deirdre Bigley, IBM’s vice president of worldwide advertising.

Unfortunately, one of the ads — produced by Ogilvy & Mather — shows IBM to have a rather myopic view of the world at large, especially China. This is a common problem in corporate America, blinded by the supposed gold in them thar Chinese hills. The 30-second spot does not bode well for IBM’s future in the “world’s fastest-growing economy.” Nope, the “Big Blue” just doesn’t get China at all, it seems. Interesting for a company whose computer business was just taken over by Lenovo — a Chinese company.

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01.24.2005, 2:35 PM · Business, Television, Video · Comments (18)


Shanghai Diaries is a website about Shanghai, China ... and lots of other stuff. Voted Best Mainland China Blog in the 2004 Asia Blog Awards.

Editor: Dan Washburn

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Dan is a freelance writer living in Shanghai. More about Dan.

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