Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ad Content and Social Responsibility

Sadly I did not retain a copy of my post however it was "interesting" to have a post of mine on this topic removed from a marketing company site recently. Perhaps one of the examples I offered touched a sore spot? Perhaps the potential of any kind of critique of advertising was a no-go area.

I think it a shame when corporations commence blogs (fashionable to do so?) and then shy away like frightened horses from the most conservative of critiques. If that's the way they want to run their blogs I suggest they make them staff only or invitation only.

The points I raised in the post were:

a) How could individual advertisers make such incredible social gaffes at times - indicating a lack of research and social knowledge savvy (being 'out of touch'), and

b) Should marketing companies strive to include social responsibility within their corporate philosophy and in all the ads they compose?

I gave two examples. One was an ad when a woman hops out of her car and punches a guy in the nose in the car behind her. I don't find that ad funny but concede it was the sort of humour appreciated in the 50's (I Love Lucy). However, in an era of road rage and some very sad events arising from this social problem, should an agency steer away from using any violent actions such as the one I described, in their campaigns?

I believe "yes".


Tony said...

Words are cheap and companies should be measured by their actions.

I'm not suggesting all companies are perfect, but many who claim social responsibility have no guidelines or procedures to assist them to meet their goals.

These companies should also establish protocols for dealing with negative feedback so they can learn and improve.

They should know they can't silence critics in this day & age.

Susan Plunkett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Plunkett said...

Indeed. I suspect there was a little more to this issue. Indeed I had to wonder whether the site thought I worked for another marketer.

But you're right Tony that it seems rather foolish to cut topics that are contemporary and ripe for discussion. I went from feeling welcomed by that company to feeling totally unwelcome. When people try to push controversy (as they may deem it) underground that's when [staff] mumbling and unhappiness arises.

Tony said...

I subscribe to a newsletter that encourages readers to submit any bugs that annoys them.

I like this approach as it builds the feeling of community and engagement. Plus the web master feels human by admitting he's not going to get everything right all the time.

Susan Plunkett said...

I had two reactions to your post. Firstly its great when the tech staff show their appreciation for the heads up.

Secondly, if you have a job of offering ongoing critical site feedback - and everyone knows that's your job - you can still wind up out in the cold when any person feels fed-up with what they see is never-ending criticism of performance. You can try and address this pro-actively but it's a problematic that few managers decide to (or perhaps know how to) resolve well although its usually easy to resolve (depending on personality types involved).

I must say though that I'm still often surprised at major sites not checking site operations on both Mac and PC platforms.