Saturday, September 4, 2021

Lock, stock images, and two smoking barrels

Image credit: Mahmoud Ghazayel

Ah stock images. Again!

I sometimes wonder when, all of us armed with cell phones with incredibly efficient cameras, all agencies STILL do the same blunder. The image above is courtesy of Mahmoud Ghazayel. Cyberia and Almaza, both using the same stock imagery.

Let me tell you this story, I was once supervising a group of graduate students on their final year. Their brief was to do a campaign for Bank of Beirut. About 3 sessions later they all came to me with the same issue, they could not find good images online of the bank to use in their projects. Now, if you have not seen me going berserk you have truly missed something. And indeed, they were treated to a one sided shouting match. Why? Right opposite the gate of the university we had a beautiful Bank Of Beirut branch. All they had to do was go down there, politely ask to photograph and then come back and chose whatever images they wanted to use.

Did any student think about that? No. Why? Stock images of course. If there was no stock images or readily downloadable images from the net, they'd immediately panic. That all of them were armed with sophisticated cell phones would never occur to them. But at least the Cyberia/Almaza blunder is not as horrible as the Byblos Bank/Condomi mishap whereby the same image was used by both brands, in the same magazine, a few pages apart.