Archive for October, 2007

My money, my ethics. End of.

hand I consider myself a discerning consumer, something I would no doubt share with most other people who are comfortable with comparing goods and services before making a purchase. This discernment is what gives me, a consumer, power over brands. I expect good service from my ‘net or high street purchases.
Brands worrying about consumers switching to the competition now have the added pressures of open markets (even more competitors), the power of social networks (to build or kill a brand) and vigorous new marketing techniques (often pioneered by young and virile new competitors).
I like this power, and I also like the fact that brands try and take an ethical stance, be it fluffiness toward embattled pig farmers, green-tinted car fumes or promises to plant a panda in a recycled sink estate. I know their purpose is to filch me to enrich their shareholders, but that’s OK. I understand.
What I can’t stomach is any kind of ethical message coming from the state. That’s because I have lost trust in it. Once upon a time, I was taught that the state serves its people.
But what do I get when I need or want something from the state?
I encounter mountains of forms, queues and bureaucrats.
Killer bugs ravage hospitals while patients are left in their own filth.
Tommy Atkins returns from war, abandoned and ignored.
My rubbish remains uncollected for two weeks.
My kids’ education is dependent upon a postcode lottery.
… for all this, I pay through the nose, but only get to respond once every four years.
And I have to listen to the political suits telling me to recycle, to offset, to tolerate. Funny thing is, this is what we’ve been trying to tell the state for years.

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Self-important bit

baby
I’m Victor Houghton, a, er... something or other in one of the UK’s largest advertising agencies. My job title has a comma in it, which is embarrassing. I’m the chief finder-things-outer with a splash of trends who is lucky to work with all the major functions of the agency, even though I am most closely associated with strategic planning. Everything in this blog has most probably been stolen from other, infinitely more talented people, although the opinions are most definitely my own and not those of the agency.

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