Should Advertisers Let Marilyn Rest in Peace?

10128_166101131689_60323281689_4151457_3790588_n

Following Sarah Churchwell’s Guardian piece about the appropriation of Marilyn’s image in a new Max Factor campaign, Karen Yossman adds further criticism in the New Statesman.

“If still alive today Monroe, Hepburn and Kelly would all have been in their 80s. Dietrich would have been 113. But the images seared into public consciousness – and proliferated by advertisers – are of these women at their aesthetic peak. The same, youthful photographs are continuously recycled on social media (sometimes emblazoned with a wrongly-attributed inspirational quotation), in print and online, effectively reducing Marilyn et al to the status of cartoon characters.

Dead women are ideal brand ambassadors: compliant, submissive and easily manipulated, both figuratively and digitally. Thus it is unsurprising that Max Factor’s slogan for their new campaign (‘From Norma Jean to Marilyn Monroe – created by Max Factor’) not only takes full credit for Monroe’s make-over but eliminates any agency Marilyn might have had in her own transformation. Luckily, she isn’t alive to argue otherwise.”

Leave a Reply