Monday, 2 May 2011

Spain: selective respect of commandments

When you live in a predominantly Christian society, even if only in name, it tends to rub off on you even if you’re not directly involved yourself, as it were.

So I have a sense that somewhere or other – the seventh commandment comes to mind – the bible is less than wholehearted in its enthusiasm for adultery. Now we happen to be in one of the most Catholic countries of Europe, Spain, at a time when Christianity is drawing particular attention thanks to the beatification of John Paul II.

In passing, let me say as a longstanding marketing person, that I regard the beatification as a brilliant PR coup. John Paul II enjoys widespread popularity and it makes a lot of sense for an organisation like the Catholic Church which has had, shall we say, its PR challenges in recent years, to make the most of any popularity it can find anywhere.

Anyway, in Spain in its heightened Christian atmosphere, I enjoyed an advertising campaign I came across in the last couple of days.

Spain fails to respect the seventh commandment
Roughly translated it says ‘Are you a married woman? Relive the passion. Have an adventure.’

For the avoidance of confusion, as they say in the contracts, 'adventure' in this context doesn't mean setting off for the source of the Nile or going bungee jumping in the Alps. Checking the website, it turns out to be a service for people in stable relationships who are looking for what we like to think of in Britain as a bit on the side.

As one of my daughters-out-law pointed out to me, wouldn’t it be awkward if both partners signed up at the same time and were put in touch with each other? Still, the service promises manual filtering of registrations, together with complete privacy and discretion. Maybe that covers filtering out just such embarrassment.

A publicly advertised adultery site. A fascinating development for our complex age.

But then there is another commandment, the eighth or ninth depending on your tradition, about not bearing false witness. To many, that's an injunction against lying in general, an exhortation to honesty. 

Perhaps there is therefore virtue in the Victoria Milan site. It breaches the seventh commandment but perhaps respects the eighth. A selective application of virtue, in other words.

Or in other words, in openly offering a service to adulterers, does it not at least have the merit of refusing hypocrisy?

1 comment:

Malc Dow said...

I think sums it up.