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Unethical assignments.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Teaching students to creatively face fear sounds like a hard thing to do, and exactly what it has to do with advertising isn't clear. Yet in a workshop taught by Portland advertising guru Dan Wieden at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, students were told to test their creativity and courage by doing such things as raising an objection at a wedding, streaking naked across a golf course or lying to their parents about being gay.

Students who refused to act like jerks are the ones who showed real courage - not to mention integrity and smarts.

Dean Tim Gleason said students were never told to do anything wrong, but that some misunderstood the assignments. Such misunderstandings, if that's what they were, appear to have been easily reached. Gleason should be neither surprised nor disappointed to find that students take their teachers' directions seriously.

Wieden, a principal of the nationally known Wieden + Kennedy ad firm in Portland, doubtless has a lot to teach UO students in his workshop. Those students who complained about their assignments have something to teach as well: When a classroom activity involves acts that are unethical, hurtful or even illegal, the proper response is not to toe the line, but to blow the whistle.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Editorials; UO workshop got a little too creative
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jun 5, 2004

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