Sunday, January 25, 2009


There is an article in today's New York Times called "German Engineers Fail the Paternity Test" about the Volkswagen Routan. Here I quote the Times:

"IN the ad campaign that introduced the Volkswagen Routan, the actress Brooke Shields worries that women are getting pregnant just so they can experience German engineering in the form of a minivan... The 2009 Routan isn’t engineered by Germans, unless you count the ones who used to work for DaimlerChrysler. It is merely a rebadged, slightly rebodied, mildly retuned Chrysler minivan..."

In another article in the Times I saw this headline: "Pope Reinstates Four Excommunicated Bishops." Among the men reinstated was Richard Williamson, a British-born Priest and Holocaust denier who saidi last week that he did not believe that six million Jews died in the Nazi gas chambers.

I'll quote the reinstated Bishop here: "I believe there were no gas chambers... I think that 200 000 to 300 000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but none of them by gas chambers."

"There was not one Jew killed by the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies!". Williamson has been reinstated by an organization that ostensibly preaches love, brotherhood, honesty and the golden rule.

Both these cases are examples of what Ad Aged likes to call Brandicide. Brandicide is when brands act in a way that can kill, or at least damage, a brand. In other words when you sanction your brand telling lies to the public.

There's not much outside of vociferous protest that ad agencies can do in the face of brandicide. As my mentor once said to me, "sometimes you can't keep the dinosaurs from the tar pits."

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