Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Thanks to Ann Handley at MarketingProfs Daily fix:

A super conversation was generated. I chimed in a few times and I felt that Ben Davis of LESS sounded a bit condescending and I think the message of LESS could be better expressed in a "Less" mean-spirited way.

Mr. Davis took the time to write to me:

"Hi Tammy, So sorry to turn you off. Let me know if there’s any way I can win you back. I don’t really want BUY LESS be the issue. I’m much happier with the outward focus that took. No one should care about BUY LESS. Everyone should care a bit about cause-related marketing, and making it more transparent. Best,--Ben Daviswords pictures ideas"

This was my response:

Ben, Thank you for writing to me.

I still have a problem with the LESS message. It comes across as mean-spirited, and that dilutes what the message actually is; holding cause related marketing to highly transparent standards.

My feeling is, if a company is going to sell a product, advertise it, market it, whore it, whatever and then give some percentage of the sale of that product to charity then so be it. RED is not a charity, it is a campaign, and if the companies who've joined the campaign spend massive amounts on advertising and give a small percentage to the cause. So be it.

I agree transparency needs to be monitored. I can see how a company could say it has a pro-cause philosophy, gain respect and make more sales and not actually give anything to a cause. That's fraud.

I also think companies calling themselves "green" should be held accountable too. I despise the de-salination advertisement by GE. What impact does this have on the oceans' habitats, etc. It feels icky and not green at all!

I digress. Transparency. Accountability. Good.

Fraud. Bad.

Many others have written about this debate and someday I will know how to imbed these links but for now here's a few other stories and POV's.

1 comment:

Stephen Denny said...

Tammy: nice exchange with the (LESS) than forthcoming Davis. I had the same reaction you did; the whole thing came off as very disingenuous, intellectually dishonest, and at the end, very defensive. "We didn't want (LESS) to become the message... haw haw," or said another way, "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

Let's judge acts of humanitarianism by their actions and results, not their creative.