Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Thursday 23/04/2004Creative Labs wanted to show off how good their portable display technology is, so they ran an advert with a woman in a bath playing with her laptop. Which may look dodgy written down like that, but all Creative wanted to push was the immersive qualities of the graphics.

Thursday 23/04/2004
Creative Labs wanted to show off how good their portable display technology is, so they ran an advert with a woman in a bath playing with her laptop. Which may look dodgy written down like that, but all Creative wanted to push was the immersive qualities of the graphics. Bath -- immerse, get it?

Yet the ad got into trouble, and not because of anything rude. No, the standards bods upheld a complaint that this encourages people to use electrical equipment while washing, and this will undoubtedly lead to vast numbers of foolhardy bathers meeting their maker while playing Soapy Quake.

Now, I don't know whether any of the above is true. On the one hand, a laptop is a battery-powered device and shouldn't cause you anything other than a heart attack at the thought of the insurance claim if dropped beneath the suds. On the other, there is a high voltage inside that powers the backlight. On the other other hand, it's not much of a high voltage and certainly doesn't have enough oomph to even stun a small rodent. But then there's the lithium battery, which would go whoooof if it wasn't sealed, which it is.

A three-bar electric fire, it isn't. And I don't think there's much proof that people see silly things in adverts and promptly decide it's safe to emulate them -- if they do, then Charles Darwin, come on down. There is proof that people do daft things like that all the time, adverts or no, and no amount of pecksniffery from the Advertising Standards authority will change that.

So I say, damn the torpedoes, and get online from the porcelain palace. We must declare a World Day of Watery Webbery, and show these silly types that progress will not be limited by an outdated sense of misplaced responsibility.

Aux bains, mes citoyens!