Friday, July 31, 2009


If the rough definition of terrorism is:

"Using fear to manipulate people's actions."

Then there are plenty of things that we really should start counting as terror:

  • Tony Blair's lies about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction in order to gain support for invasion
  • George W Bush's use of terror and terrorism in order to change laws and create havoc throughout the world
  • "The medium of TV is dying... use our web agency!" Invest now or your company will fail! Faillll!!
  • If you don't dye your hair you will look old and that 25 year old receptionist won't take you home tonight.

Is Rob, I hear you (possibly) ask... comparing the illegal invasion of Iraq to an ad for hair dye and hyped up Web 2.0 speeches? No. Well actually yes. Yes I am. Sort of. They all use fear to manipulate people, of course this fear is on different scales; but the principle is essentially the same.

Whilst sometimes there is room for comedic/artistic licence in dealing with some silly/consumerite fears; or where good evidence backs it up: "Don't miss out on this deal", "Only this cleaner kills all bacteria" etc ... The playing of real fears in such an unsensitive way is frankly insulting. If the consumer is your wife, then she is going to be pissssed off with you for being that rude and patronising.

What I would like to say here is this: Manipulative hard sell should be dead. Stone cold dead. Cremated and thrown into the dead sea. There is no use, no excuse, and no need for it in this day and age. This internet age means people will talk about it and appearing manipulative will start to bring your brand down, no matter how big you are. I suggest a War on Ad Terror...

1 comment:

David Mortimer said...

I'd quite like to see the Daily Mail set up an advertising agency.