Or maybe marketing now is the media!
It’s getting ever more difficult to tell apart nowadays, adverts and editorial used to be two different items in the press and even in the early days of the web. As a rule a clear distinction between what was paid for by companies and what was the opinion of writers was maintained by most publications. Of course there was always something of an overlap but readers would know and the offending publications suffer a certain derision if they tried to hide the fact, but such niceties seem to have been forgotten in the rush to get products planted in the face of the reader.
The web has led the fall in standards due, in main, to its desperate search for cheap, but preferably free, content. In pursuit of its own ideal it has happily ignored the idea that readers read because they want to learn about the world and not because they want to be lambasted by blatant spin about the latest gizmo or product or whatever. The printed media, terrified by the growth of its digital rival has swiftly followed suite and its hard to pick up a magazine or paper today and not detect the suggestion that advertising revenue is of as great a concern as giving an honest account. Perhaps we in Ireland are more prone to this due to the small population and greater reliance upon a reduced pool of advertisers, but the effect is by no means confined to these shores.
Yes indeed, I certainly have an interest in these matters so am biased, but isn’t that the point of debate? If none of us took a stance then society would suffocate in a grey goo of tedium and it is a similar tedium that threatens to kill the media altogether. Of course editors and publishers have to keep an eye on the revenue stream but too much interference with the editorial content by advertisers will, and I think is, killing the platform altogether. So when magazines and papers are gone, Adblock is ubiquitous and nobody bothers to read the advertorial that pretends to be news on websites then how are all these wonderfully smart young marketing types who have gained proud dominance over the various channels going to get their message across? Will they, perhaps, have to resort to actually offering a quality product and level of service rather than depend on blanket saturation of the airwaves? It must be a terrifying thought for some.
So my message to over zealous marketing types is this; let the press be free! We are, outside of the tabloids, a fairly decent lot, as are most companies, and we are happy to report that which is good without the micro management of advertisers fearful that they may lose an edge if they don’t have the final say in everything that is said of them. Respect, after all, has to be earned rather than demanded, indeed, by insisting upon it then it is lost altogether.