Recently I mentioned "weirdo language school ads" with an apparent bondage theme, and quoted a reader who had taught English in Japan and offered some psycho-sexual interpretation of the ads. Two updates:
First, the latest entry in this category, from a billboard in Beijing yesterday. Speaking personally, nothing could give me greater confidence in the quality of English language instruction than the slogan, "Talenty English, Talenty Education."
(Yes, "Talenty" appears to be the name of the school, but I'm not sure that helps.)
Second, a letter I received from an official of the Gaba Eikaiwa (English conversation) school in Japan. He objects to the way the school's reputation was characterized by the reader I quoted. In the spirit of fair reply, his letter follows:
Dear Mr. Fallows,
I happened to recently read your blog of April 14th 2009, entitled "More on weirdo language school ads (updated)". As the person in charge of recruiting new instructors at Gaba language school, I was somewhat disturbed by the several inaccuracies referenced as "testimony from a 'former English teacher in Japan". I would like to bring these to your attention.
Firstly let me mention that the ad pictured is not reflective of current Gaba advertising. It was a poster that last ran over 6 years ago. Current Gaba advertising is significantly different in theme. Please see the J-peg attachment of our current advertising as a sample. While the ad certainly was "unique" and I won't quibble with the fact that some might even find it 'weird', I would hope that the fact that this ad is from 2002/2003 could be mentioned somewhere in the copy.
Here is Gaba's current ad, featuring its "Man to Man" (マン ツー マン) teaching approach. Underneath that, as a reminder, the previous ad; then, after the jump, the rest of the letter: