Saturday, June 20, 2009

Photographers Have to Make a Living Too, Part 3

Hawking cameras...

Arnold Newman for Canon
News Photographer
October, 1999

Elliott Erwitt for Minolta

November, 1999

Sally Mann for Toyo view and Mamiya medium format cameras
(I'm afraid I don't know where this is from but it appeared in 1991.
It's big too: 11 x 16 inches.)

Now, what's curious about these two ads is that they appeared in the May, 2004, issue of Shutterbug. Mary Ellen Mark is endorsing competing brands of cameras, in the same issue of a magazine. Admittedly, they're as separated as you can get in a magazine: the Mamiya ad is on page 5, right before the contents page and the Hasselblad ad is on the back cover.

It's the magazine's responsibility to let the advertisers know of this conflict. So I suppose the thinking, on the magazines part, is that "oh, by the time the reader gets to the end of the mag, they'll have forgotten that the same photographer already endorsed a different camera." Unless one camera company owns the other, I don't see how you get away with that.

Anyone know anything about this? Does one of those companies own the other? I would think that when you're hired to endorse a product you sign a contract. And it would seem that one of the provisions would almost certainly be: you can't endorse a competitor of ours while under contract to us.

Just for the record, I'm not criticizing anyone for making money off of promoting a tool that they've probably used for years anyway and do in fact believe to be superior to the other tools out there. I'm just curious about these ads by MEMark in the same issue.


Denton said...

That Mary Ellen Mark catch is really cool!

Hasselblad never owned Mamiya, for sure. Or vice versa. They were competitors.

You could make the argument that the Mamiya 7 was a great carry camera and the Hasselblad was a great tripod camera.

In fact for a time I tried to practice that, used an RZ67 as my tripod camera, and the 7 for a hiking camera. I never really adapted to the 7 tho, nothing like looking at a ground glass.

Then there's the never-ending debate about the rectangular 6x7 format vs. the 6x6 square format of the Hasselblad. 'Blad fans point out that you can get a 6x4.5cm back for the 'Blad if you like a rectangular format, but 6x7 fans point out that in film area 6x7 is way superior. Too bad the digital era has killed off the format wars :-)

Th other thing is that you could argue about is Mark's endorsement of the Mamiya 7. She's not actually endorsing the camera anywhere. She's merely lending a 6x7 neg and comparing it to a 35mm neg. She's not being quoted as saying she likes the camera. Unlike the Hasselblad ad where she makes an actual quote about the camera. I'm sure her lawyers pointed this out in court :-)


Don said...

Ahhh, the format wars. Those were the days...

Chris said...
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Chris said...
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