I just got another one of those e-mails--you know the ones--the emails that proclaim the world as you know it is irrevocably changed, that advertising and communications are dead, that brands will adjust by being benevolent because the consumer is in control.
With all that in mind, I started thinking about how out of control consumers really are.
1. You can't return anything. Once it's bought, you're doomed to a world where you have to go to the post office.
2. You can't find anything or anyone who knows anything. People who work in bookstores don't read. People in Home Depot don't have homes to repair. Certainly people in Staples have never run a business or worked in an office.
3. There's no legroom. Next time you think the consumer is in control, ride coach. Or ride Amtrak.
4. You're charged twice. You pay for your Yankee tickets then are besieged by ads at every possible point. Or you buy tickets only to hear the event you paid for is brought to you by Pepsi.
5. You can't complain. There's no one at the other end of the line.
6. You can't even get off of email lists. Unsubscribe all you like, once they have you, they have you.
7. You've given away all your personal information and the ability to track your every move in return for free email and Facebook.
8. You can barely find a brand that doesn't destroy the environment.
9. Or pay slave wages.
10. Or fail to pay taxes.
11. Much less "put you in control."
12. It's all worse when it rains.