In a piece of news sure to cause no controversy whatsoever with anyone, Ogilvy & Mather Chicago launched a new campaign for nonprofit organization The Brady Campaign tackling the issue of media coverage of mass shootings.
Two minute spot “Zero Minutes of Fame” posits that since “30% of mass killings and 22% of school shootings are inspired by previous events,” we need to change media coverage of said events. That coverage of these events, it continues, always includes the perpetrators’ names, images and motives, thereby giving the killers “exactly what they want.”
Ogilvy & Mather Chicago and The Brady Campaign created a plugin that reduces such killers’ moments in the spotlight to “Zero minutes of fame” by replacing their names and images in search results with those of their victims.
The campaign also includes a petition for people to sign asking media outlets to stop showing killers’ names and images in covering such events, helping to widen the scope of the campaign beyond the internet.
The effects of the campaign will arguably be fairly limited (we don’t expect the petition to accomplish much), and the spot’s claim that those who download the plugin are “actively stopping the next copycat killing” is more than a little optimistic while its assertion that all perpetrators of such horrific gun violence were seeking fame is reductive.
Still, it addresses an oft-overlooked aspect of gun violence that is potentially less divisive than the organization’s usual gun control advocacy…and could help spark a larger conversation around the issue.
It will undoubtedly lead to a lot of pointless arguments in comment threads, so there’s that.