So last week, Gallup’s annual “Honesty and Ethics of Professions” poll was released, and like clockwork, “advertising practitioners” were down near the bottom, although above Congresspeople and Senators.
Should we care?
While lots of people don’t care much for advertising, they generally know it when they see it, and that’s part of the bargain they make for having their TV and other media content somewhat subsidized.
However, the tactics are changing fast. Ad students and young creatives are constantly being told to “do something that doesn’t look like an ad.” And that may actually be a problem. We have the technology to target people more individually, plus the creative ability to disguise marketing in the form of social networking, gaming and entertainment. It holds both promise and peril.
The reality is advertising won’t become more trustworthy if the growth in the industry comes in savvier, more interactive but ultimately more Big Brother-ish ways.
It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo.