Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Did you unfortunately object to the EU feeding bottle image?

There is a way of apologising that is no apology at all.

Here's an example: "It is unfortunate that you interpreted my suggestion that you go and jump off a cliff as an insult. That was never my intention."

Further discussion can be forestalled by adding: "It was a off-hand comment which I have no intention of repeating."

So the person who complained was at fault for their interpretation and would be small minded if they continue to make an issue of it.

This is similar to the approach taken by the European Parliament when people have raised its use of a feeding bottle in a promotional campaign for the forthcoming European Election. This was used to highlight parenthood and work-life balance. See below and my blog at:

Here is the response:

---Email from the European Parliament

Dear ****,

I refer to your recent message about the use of a picture of a baby's feeding bottle in the EP's publicity campaign to raise awareness of the 2009 elections.

I understand that the poster campaign was for a limited period and has now ended. I would point out that the purpose of the campaign is to remind voters that, throughout our lives, we are required to take decisions and that it is for each of us to exercise our responsibilities in this respect. In the present case, we should participate in the democratic process.

The different images all point to choices with which we are faced but they do not prejudge the answers and most certainly do not indicate a right or wrong course of action. On the particular issue of breastfeeding and its desirability, the European Parliament is not contesting this - quite the reverse since the Parliament has on many occasions supported breastfeeding in all possible circumstances. I can assure you that your views have been noted and that it is unfortunate that this image has been interpreted by some as encouraging bottle- feeding. This was never the intention.

Thank you for your message and your interest in the European Parliament.




European Parliament

Directorate General for Communication

Correspondence with Citizens Unit

Well, yes, it is unfortunate that this poster is interpreted as encouraging bottle feeding. But it is more unfortunate that more thought was not put into the use of images.

And more unfortunate still that the response shows nothing has been learned by the Directorate General for Communication.

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