Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Marketing isn't just for Christmas

I read a piece in The Guardian yesterday about the correlation between Christmas and suicide. Venturing into such dark territory it was easy for the journalist to then shine his not very bright torch on Christmas being ..."Dominated by the advertising industry." It seems that bashing advertising and marketing isn't just for the rest of the year but for Christmas too.

On this crude logic the angel Gabriel should have been villified for representing Christ's first real marketing message but got off much more lightly than John the Baptist who was equally on message but off his head?

In the same newspaper, there is talk of the forthcoming VAT increase and 74% of retailers in the British Retail Consortium expecting to raise the prices of their goods in the shops in 2011. Advertising and marketing do not cause that to happen, any more than they cause people to commit suicide. In fact it's probably such monocausal logic that leads lonely people to stress in the first place. Surely individual backgrounds, life journeys, peer pressure, oh, and journalists writing about the 'haves' and 'have nots' have someting to do with it?

Bad news sells newspapers but don't journalists also have a duty to spread Good News at this time and the roles of advertising and marketing in lubricating the economy - goodness knows we need that in the light of banking's failure to do so - as well as keeping the prices of their own newspapers at affordable levels for most of us to be able to read their wise words?

Instead, a bit like with the scribes who failed to see historical prophecy becoming reality with their own eyes, journalists today too often rely on their favourite scapegoats for explanations and wildly inaccurate assertions of biblical proportions when this and every other season should really be about The Truth?

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