Think the ‘Pink Princess’ culture is just harmless fun?

What do you see when you look at the picture above? (Let’s ignore the lipstick and blusher for a moment).  Sweet little girls in dress-up outfits?  Or the dangers represented by early gender stereotyping?  Sadly, there’s growing evidence that it should be more the latter than the former. It was recently reported that girls as young as six think that 'brilliance' is a male trait and that pay inequality starts in the pocket money years.  [...]

Sex only sells sex. Let’s hope the tide is turning in Cannes

Many years ago, I was driving through Rome, admiring the scenery, when I was suddenly confronted by the enormous billboard image of a naked, reclining woman. Perched proudly on her tanned bottom was… Let’s guess, shall we?  Some sunscreen?  Perfume, maybe?  An anti-cellulite gadget?   No.  A packet of pasta. I was a bit taken aback by the level of nudity on a 48 sheet, but more astonished that her bum was deemed to be [...]

Disruptive. But not always in a good way.

The ‘on demand economy’ and the 'disruptive' brands that are creating and supporting it is the current buzz in the marketing world.  In the last week, I’ve attended two presentations where the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo have been held up as great examples of a new way of doing business. Putting the customer experience at the centre, relying on crowd-sourced reviews, shaking the complacency of established brands and service models, moving to a [...]

Survival Of The Fittest? Don’t Make Me Laugh!

The horsemeat scandal and an aggressive piece by Mark Ritson in Marketing Week (Kill the Weak: It's the Marketing Way) has again highlighted exactly what’s wrong with modern business practice.  A basic lack of responsibility and morality which has enabled companies to build and abuse extraordinary levels of power. I know Ritson loves to court controversy, but this time he’s stepped over the line.  His ridiculous assertion, when we are knee deep in another breach [...]

What About Marketing’s Social Responsibility?

Back in February, I wrote a piece entitled ‘Time for Some Moral Marketing’.  My hope was that 2012 would provide the antidote to the widespread corporate, political and social immorality of 2011 (expenses-fiddling politicians, corrupt bankers, phone hacking, abuse in ‘care’ homes, riots…). We were all hopeful that the Jubilee and Olympics/Paralympics would provide the feel good factor we were desperate for.  Sadly, the Jubilee was an over-long washout but our athletes did us proud, [...]

Modern Morality: Right Sentiment, Wrong Phrase?

Back in February, I wrote a post entitled ‘Time for Some Moral Marketing’.  It was prompted by Marc Mathieu of Unilever arguing that it was time for marketing to get back to “the origins of the discipline… as a way to drive social progress as well as sales”. I’ve long believed that business – not just the marketing department – should play fairly and ethically.  In his book ‘Screw Business as Usual’, Richard Branson ably [...]

Who cares what the shareholders think?

Excessive executive pay has rightly been under the spotlight this year, and hot on the heels of the ‘Shareholder Spring’ is Business Secretary Vince Cable’s long-awaited review. The aim of transparency and approval is laudable, but the whole exercise is misguided.  Who cares what the shareholders think?  What about the real stakeholders? Shareholders are only interested in profit.  Whether they’re city fund managers or small-holding individuals, generally, people buy shares for one reason only.  To [...]

Time for some ‘moral marketing’?

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you may well have spotted a bit of a recurring theme; my hope that businesses could be, well, just a bit nicer. I’ve worked for some incredibly customer-centric and genuinely caring brands (Orange, Smart Cars, RSPB, NHS Blood Donation) and have long been of the view that it always pays dividends to really look after your customers (or donors), and to not – in any circumstance - [...]

By | 2017-01-04T19:51:36+00:00 February 28th, 2012|Marketing Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility|1 Comment