What a day. Helen Clark called it a ‘storm in a teacup‘.

How could I have ever imagined a small thing like the acquisition of an American stock photo by a Labour Party designer could get the whole country so riled? My humble blog post today alone had 1909 hits (as of 11.20pm) – that’s up from the normal 50-60 per day by quite a large margin. The news media, rightly or wrongly, went wild.

I make no apologies for having brought notice to ‘that photo’. Like I said, I’m an ex-photographer. I know that there are cheap ways of getting good quality images that don’t include sourcing images from offshore. Anyone with a digital camera and a half decent eye for composition, could have taken a pic of a willing and happy Labour Party supporting family. And I’m sure with a minimum of effort they could have found a family willing to do it – really.

The point for me is that the brochure is selling New Zealand policy from the Labour Party, and to that end it needed to be completely authentic. I shouldn’t need to excuse the fact that I respond to visual cues more than the Prime Minister or Michael Cullen does – I can rightly be offended that an American family is used to ‘sell’ their policy – from my visually skewed perspective it simply isn’t right.

My revelation of this design cock-up should in no way support the notion that I am a staunch supporter of the National Party. You will see from recent posts that I am more of a critic of National than I am of Labour. Both parties have made embarrassing mistakes – take John Key’s Cold Play copy for instance. It seems that whoever is advising either party on design is not doing a particularly fine job on crossing t’s and dotting i’s.

In two days time this will all be forgotten. My blog traffic will slip back into a more regular pattern. The government will not topple because of ‘Skinnygate’ – they will topple of their own volition, and without my help.

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2 thoughts on “Helen Clark’s “American family””

  1. Well we here at mychillybin commend you Skinny for bringing the media and the NZ public’s attention to this. At the end of the day, there really wasn’t any good reason why they couldn’t have used a New Zealand stock photography site, just as cost effective – and support a New Zealand business and New Zealand photographers in the process…

    We’d like to extend an invitation to the Labour Party, the opposition and anyone else out there looking for genuine Kiwi images of Kiwis taken by Kiwis to visit http://www.mychillybin.co.nz

  2. I think, in the law and order parlance, this was a fair cop. Now I’m no fan of the Cullen Institute for Public Spending Largesse (he reminds me of Little Jack Horner, thumb pulling out a plum, smug looks of ‘what a clever boy am I?’) but for folks to suggest that you have partisan leanings for National simply haven’t been reading the back issues of your blog.

    Using stock images is convenient and cost efficient (saving all those talent fees but I’m sure that there could be rider on the Working for Families benefit saying that recipients images may be used for promotional purposes at any time and in any media) but can cause the most awful whoopsies – remember the image of the Canadian Rockies used to promote the South Island by the NZTB?

    skinny: keeping the mean streets of Wellington clean

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