I don’t know if it is the same for you but sometimes when I come across an article on the Internet, I begin to wonder where all the information contained comes from. Is it an original piece of research, where the writer has gone out and explored for themselves, or have they taken something already written and simply changed a few words? Plagiarism is nothing new, we have seen it across almost every single news medium as well as in the dissertations submitted by high-ranking politicians – something which caused several German politicians to lose their jobs not all that long ago. We see it in learned journals as much as in newspapers and magazines, in books and, undoubtedly, in more than a few pieces of homework sent in during High School.
I was caught up with this article on the Smithsonian Magazine site this evening. The idea of having reusable beer bottles seems to make sense, not just that they can be refilled, but that they could also be used for other things too. In this case, as building blocks for housing in poorer nations. We all know that when it comes to building, poorer folks are more likely to buy beer than bricks, it stands to reason. In fact the idea, even if my take on it is a little strange, is a very good one. In India (if I remember correctly) skylights have been made of water bottles to bring light into homes, where windows are few and electricity a rarity. So why not build a complete house out of bottles?
So, yes, it makes sense, but let me get down to the main area of my post: masculine and feminine marketing and, of course, plagiarism or rewriting.
The first is easy enough: we all know that adverts are targeted at customers. Certain products need to be made more masculine to appeal to the customer base, others must be feminine. Some products use a very feminine – read sex here – slant in order to attract male customers. Nothing unusual here, as in a day’s work.
And plagiarism? Well, I said at the start that I wondered whether some writers did their own research or went out of their way to get an original story all for themselves. In the case of my linked story, it is a rewrite. This article has been taken, rewritten with a few additional pieces of information and a selection of photographs. There is, however, no clear indication that this is the case. A single link within the text on the Smithsonian site takes you to the original, but no acknowledgement that the bulk of the work has been done by someone else. For me, a bad thing. Especially when you consider that there are a few wonderful little sections in the original which could have readers laughing themselves all the way to the bar. What the Smithsonian quotes:
A puzzling description, Cabinet writes, “considering that the bottle consisted of two bulbous compartments surmounted by a long shaft”
is so much better in the original:
It was a brilliant compromise, but Heineken’s marketing department rejected it as “effeminate”—a curious description considering that the bottle consisted of two bulbous compartments surmounted by a long shaft. We can only assume that Habraken did not anticipate why the men of Curaçao might not want to hold this up to their lips.
Perhaps they just didn’t want to take too much of the original and pass it off as their own work.
Love & Kisses, Viki.