Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
should not be banned, but should be local.

It serves a useful function (apparently... or at least potentially) in signalling the existence of goods and services within a local economy.

The problem is that advertising (and the economy) is dominated by big powerful organizations which owe no loyalty to any local community or economy, and therefore seek advantage through lies and manipulation of the consumer.

Proposed solution : limit the size of organizations which can access advertising media. This would solve all sorts of problems.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:07:56 AM EST
seek advantage through lies

i propose no more lies, products only endorsed by real users, no more actors spouting transparent drivel.

(added to your proposal.)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:35:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You make the same mistake as many ad agencies: there are no compartmentalized target groups. Actors are consumers/real users too.

In Finland there is a consumer ombusdman organization that frequently intervenes on unsupportable advertising claims.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 11:00:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Real consumers don't get paid to consume.

Most celebs get the stuff they promote for free.

And there certainly are compartmentalised target groups. They may have fuzzy edges, but no one is going to have much success selling Hello Kitty toys to corporate vice presidents, or expensive mustard to pre-teen girls.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 07:35:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure many corporate VPs with young daughters have purchased Hello Kitty toys - persuaded indirectly. And if the pretty one in a boy band publicly professed to liking expensive mustard sales would soar.

Of course celebs get it free, but these days they also have to sign contracts that exclude controllable competitor visibility whenever in public.

Real consumers are rewarded, though not paid a fee.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 10:29:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For every product or brand there's a group of primary consumers, and multiple groups of secondary consumers with ever-decreasing personal interest and/or leverage on primary consumers.

It's nonsensical to suggest these groups can be equal or equivalent.

And it's not unusual for misguided celebs to damage their own brands through unfortunate endorsement deals, and for brands to have their influence damaged after picking the wrong celeb to endorse.

Advertising is powerful, but it's not infinitely plastic. Beyond a certain narrative stress point the power to persuade breaks down.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 05:06:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An interesting proposal, but one which might bar future cooperative/franchise operations, where consumers get together en masse.

The model could derive from the major Finnish grocery stores which centralize logistics, marketing, branding and marketing for supply to the local area franchisees. These existing chains profess to be cooperatives - or member-owned, with member benefits and discounts, but they actually have expensive top-down bureaucracies. I imagine a model where such a management level would be hired to provide a management service to the members - but the members would decide on strategies, including profit-sharing.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 10:54:39 AM EST
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The main difficulty would be drafting rules which would work well for the co-op / non-profit sector, but could not be subverted by corporate wolves in sheep's clothing.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 10:59:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is the coops that will diminish the power of the corporate wolves. As Chris Cook  has pointed out, a coop or other peer-to-peer networked organization can be nimbler, more flexible and a lot cheaper to run, and thus will heavily compete on price and service.

The wolves (banks eg) can still be employed to provide fixed-cost national and international services, but even that role would diminish with the adoption of better data governance and master data management. I think MDM offers the possibility of making redundant a lot of management hocus-pocus, and without that...

As corporations increasingly move their focus to the so-called UX or user experience, they are also ceding more and more power to the consumers of their products or services. For the corporations this will not end well. But I am, as usual, being too optimistic.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 11:20:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Local entities may be more likely to face blowback, but that has not prevented them from engaging in their own fair share of deceptive advertising.  Low-rent hucksterism is alive and thriving at the local level.

Instead of trying to draw lines between who should be allowed to use it, and who shouldn't (a nightmare situation given the ease of creating shell corporations, shady front groups, PAC's, etc), how about hard rules on a media by media basis?

No push advertising of any sort, ever - that is, advertising which is pushed toward the consumer without their consent or desire.

Shopper wants to pick up an advertising flyer or local circular?  Fine.  Junk mail?  Gray area.  TV, Radio, and Magazine ads?  Never.

The Internet is already in the process of finding ways to gather and deliver locally relevant content to interested users.  A layer on top of Google Maps combined with something like GroupOn may well be enough.

by Zwackus on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 05:13:06 AM EST
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