Sunday, 11 October 2009
Dokdo Week, Part 2:
Baylor Thompson, head of advertising in the New York Times, reports that he plans to continue giving advertising space to nationalistic Koreans wishing to make a point about the East Sea, Dokdo, Baekdu Mountain, Kim Il-Sung's glorious leadership forever, Grand Canal Schemes, or whatever else they wish to promote, "As long as the cash keeps coming, and as long as they keep thinking NYT ads actually accomplish anything other than stirring the derision of Daveizens, we will continue taking their money."
Though at first, it took a while to really convince Koreans that taking out New York Times ads would lead to any positive results, Thompson says validation of the NYT ads actually took care of itself. "As soon as the Times ads came out, they got reported by Yonhap, Chosun, and every other Korean news source picked it up, and that amount of coverage seems to have tricked Koreans into thinking EVERY country reports and discusses it just as extensively when some Korean takes out a New York Times ad." Once Koreans were fooled, by their own media, into thinking that a NYT ad got the entire world abuzz about a topic, "I just had to sit back and wait for more ad requests to roll in," Mr. Thompson says.
This startling news comes at a time when some have been questioning the effectiveness of taking out full-page New York Times ads about The East Sea (also known as the Sea of Dirty, Island-Stealing Ass-Pirates). It started when a Korean named Min-hong traveled overseas, to Manchester, and over dinner with a group of British citizens, casually brought up a common dinner-table topic from his home country: "So, do you think Japan will ever relinquish that pesky claim on Dokdo?" he asked. When met with blank stares, he tried again. "You know, the land dispute in the East Sea -- the little islands near Ulleungdo that Japan is trying to steal from Korea, the rightful owners -- do you think they'll ever admit it's a symbol of their enduring imperial aspirations?"
"Which sea?" his hosts asked.
"The East Sea -- the one between Korea and Japan."
"Oh. We call that The Sea of Japan in English."
"No, you must be mistaken -- it's the East Sea. Don't you read the New York Times? I was under the impression that this you tried to stay up to date on current events!"
"Well, we do, but this is England: the BBC is our main news source here."
Returning home with news of such shocking ignorance about Korea's issues of world import led to a period of doubt for Min-hong and those in his circle of friends. "Why are people bothering to advertise in the Times when it's met with indifference from the rest of the world?" was the question on everybody's lips.
However, when Japan began taking out full-page ads denying wrongdoing in issues like the comfort women issue and the Nanking massacres, many Koreans decided that, dinner-table-topics in Manchester or none, Korea could not fall behind Japan in the Western Media Paid Advertisement Propaganda race.
"We now have schools organizing bake sales, perfumes and donation drives, we have traveling missionaries spreading the word about Dokdo, in order to continue taking out MORE NYT ads than those filty Japanese barbarians," explained Choi Yang-hoon, one of the leaders of a recent Dokdo drive. "We're waiting for more Dokdo Songs, hoping that Kim Jang-hoon might even contribute a hit pop-song, possibly one as good as this one:
Personally, Baylor Thompson doesn't know much about Dokdo, and doesn't really care, either: he actually enjoys getting the full page ad requests, "Because that's an entire page of space I don't have to sell in smaller pieces -- a big chunk of advertising space, sold in one shot -- that makes my job easier. They could print lines from North Korean revolutionary songs for all I care," he said. He does have one concern, however, and he says it's an important one.
"Just make sure the checks clear."
Posted by Dokdo Is Ours at 08:30