Monday, August 20, 2018

Some thoughts on trust.

The other day I got a text message from someone I didn't know. It was a politician texting me, without my permission, on my personal device.

I knew that political "leaders" had exempted themselves from marketing strictures and rules like Do Not Call lists. I didn't know that they had also granted themselves carte blanc when it came to texting.

It all got me thinking about trust. And perhaps why there is so little of it.

When I produce an ad, whether it's a banner ad or a big national spot, lawyers have to approve it.

This is almost never easy.

We in advertising are paid, not to lie, but to put a sheen on things. To make things sound good.

And clients, and networks, exist to be careful. To guard their companies and their brands. To protect them from a copywriter's enthusiasms.

Of course, political leaders subject their ads to none of the scrutiny that an ad for a detergent or a paper-towel would be subject to.

People who control multi-billion or multi-trillion dollar budgets can say what they want with no checks on the truth.

I wonder if part of the reason for the public's lack of trust in government stems from the out and out lies they tell in their TV commercials.

Most political ads--attack ads--portray one's opponent as a step down from child molester.

There are a lot of ways our industry can, slowly, begin to restore its reputation. We can be stricter on ourselves. We can agree to a set of standards.

But we must also make our so-called lawmakers adhere to the same principles. Or the ugliness of what they do will spill over and make what we do ugly as well.

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