Posts Tagged ‘noise’

Quote of the week

November 28, 2008

A momentary digression from my regular word of the week entry – I stumbled across this quote recently and felt impelled to share it:

“Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence.”  (John Lahr)


Is Greenwash the new pollution?

May 30, 2008






The world is filling up with rubbish. The world of marketing that is.

Marketing agencies already take flack from the green-lobby and are, rather unfairly, targeted as being responsible for the present consumer culture, which is (allegedly) destroying the planet. But there is a more disturbing and insidious form of pollution that they are directly responsible for.

It is the pollution of a constant drone of background noise, coming through posters, over the radio, in newspapers and magazines – it is literally inescapable. In fact, the industry’s drive to market companies and products on their green credentials (true or not) has meant that ‘greenwash’ has become a big contributor to marketing noise pollution. Ironic, no? The ethos of the major advertising agencies has changed in recent years to tackle the growing problem of ‘digital natives’, which sounds a bit Lord of the Flies, but basically just means kids.

These kids are used to working in several different media simultaneously and have become adept at stopping the onslaught of marketing information from entering their brains (ever wonder why teachers are having problems?). As a result marketing messages are becoming shorter and louder. And if you doubt that this is real pollution – take a look at Ad-Air’s new super-sized billboards underneath airline flight-paths. They are the size of four football fields, so they’re an eyesore you will see, like it or not.

With the arrival of Web 2.0 services, advertising messages can become more intrusive than ever before, as the Facebook Beacon system demonstrates, even though spam and annoying pop-ups do nothing but turn the consumer away from your product or service.

To put it simply, the marketing business is crushing itself under the weight of its own messaging, squeezing the effectiveness out of its product as consumers become more and more unaffected by the commercialization of their surroundings. But what we are still not seeing is the rise of personalised advertising, where you are informed only of products and services that you might have a specific interest in (similar on a larger scale to’s automated recommendations).

The race should be on for more targeted messaging and for marketing that asks for interaction from consumers. Web 2.0 should enable more directed advertising, not the scatter-gun approach that has predominated for the last few decades. So just do it, clean up marketing, get it whiter-than-white, let your fingers do the walking and stop putting damn slogans everywhere.


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