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VH1’s Anti-bullying Commercial Raises Controversy

www.endcyberbullying.org

The video, titled Revenge of the Nerds, is an anti-bullying advertisement in which bullied children sing about getting their revenge in the future to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”

Although the video has gone viral, not everyone is sold on the theme of “nerds today, bosses tomorrow.”

“The revenge motif, though lighthearted, seems to perpetuate the cycle of bullying, with today’s victims becoming tomorrow’s oppressors,” David Gianatasio commented in an Ad Week article. “Yes, it’s handled with a deft touch and good humor — and the jerks in the boy’s bathroom using that kid’s head as a toilet scrubber certainly have it coming. Even so, breaking the cycle and discouraging the behavior should be the goal, shouldn’t it?”

His criticisms ring true since in the song, the stereotypical “nerds” sing: “You’ll never get a single raise. You’ll get the same pay until the end of your unhappy days. And behind a tiny desk you’ll be saying your regret.” They even vow to make the bullies their “pets,” and “slaves.”

In response to the criticisms, the ad agency issued a press release. “The idea of the campaign is to raise awareness about bullying, speaking directly to those ‘cool’ kids who watch the channel. In order to reach them, we knew we had to do something really original that corresponded to the personality and idiosyncrasy of the brand and, more importantly, spoke a language that young people could relate to.”

What do you guys think about the advertisement?