Sex sells? Think again

images-2The backlash against sex­ual imagery in the media is gathering steam as feminists and child-protection experts make common cause with conservatives, religious groups and, yes, the Daily Mail to decry what they see as degrading attitudes to women.

A British marketing consultation firm recently ran the below story warning companies to back off on “sex sells” thinking.

“From the Prime Minister’s online porn clampdown, announced last week, to the continuing campaigns against lads’ mags and The Sun’s Page 3 models, UK media is on notice that the gratuitous use of raunchy images is becoming unacceptable.

 “David Cameron’s plan for ISPs to automatically activate filters, which users would have to turn off to access porn, sounds to many people like a sensible balance between protecting children from inappropriate material and respecting adults’ rights – and any move designed to tackle child sexual exploitation is widely applauded. But some worry that adult sexuality and child abuse are being deliberately lumped together to promote repressive and prudish attitudes to sex.

“The issue is riven with contradictions. Cameron was somewhat at a loss last week to explain why The Sun’s “tit pics” – widely seen by children across the country – are acceptable when online porn is not. However, his reply that buying the newspaper is a free consumer choice might have something to it. The Sun’s circulation has fallen by 40 per cent over the past decade to 2.25 million, arguably a reflection of the growing distaste for a publication that uses breasts to promote itself.  Continue reading “Sex sells? Think again”

The case for cause marketing

We all are exposed to traditional and typical advertising and marketing messages every day, for everything from food to fragrances to banking to many other products and services we consume on a regular basis.

However, sometimes companies with the most powerful brands in the world take their marketing messages a step further and align them with a cause, which can be incredibly beneficial to society, reports Huffington Post Gay Voices.images-2

“When done properly, cause marketing can change the world and help to move that cause in a positive direction, whether it is health-related, environmental, humanitarian, or social in nature.

“We are currently seeing a positive example of cause marketing by Office Depot, a leading national retailer, who has dedicated its back-to-school effort for the second consecutive year to raising awareness for anti-bullying as it specifically relates to parents, teachers, and students. The company has recently launched a campaign with worldwide music phenomenon One Direction, coinciding with their U.S. summer tour. The theme of the campaign is “1D + OD Together Against Bullying,” and has been designed to raise awareness for anti-bullying, culminating in educational programs beginning this Fall in schools across America.

“By embracing the anti-bullying cause, Office Depot is aiming to create more positive environments for three of its key consumers. First, they want to enable teachers to have more positive classroom and teaching experiences. No one can deny that teaching is a tough profession. Reducing and possibly eliminating bullying at school will take one more stress factor off of teachers’ already full plates. Continue reading “The case for cause marketing”

Defending Ronald

McDonald’s Corp. Chief Executive Don Thompson, presiding over his first annual shareholders meeting since taking the helm of the fast-food chain last summer, defended the company’s efforts to market to children, reports the Wall Street Journalimgres

“Several speakers associated with Corporate Accountability International, a nonprofit corporate watchdog that put forward a proposal calling on McDonald’s to conduct an assessment of its nutrition initiatives, accused the company of contributing to the country’s obesity problem by targeting children, particularly minorities. McDonald’s CEO defended mascot Ronald McDonald, saying the fast-food chain isn’t the cause of obesity.Mr. Thompson, McDonald’s first African-American chief executive, said the criticism hits close to home and staunchly defended McDonald’s marketing practices.

“We are not the cause of obesity. Ronald is not a bad guy,” Mr. Thompson said Thursday “He’s about fun. He’s a clown. I’d urge you all to let your kids have fun, too.” Continue reading “Defending Ronald”

Stepping up the marketing of God

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It seems that this year’s omnivorous expansion of “Christmas” isn’t quite enough.  A national decline in church attendance, the struggling economy and the challenges of converting millennials have all led to a new movement to market God.

Apparently, The U.S. is witnessing a wave of experimentation by evangelicals to reinvent “church” in an increasingly secular culture. The mega-church boom of recent decades is winding down, along with it’s trappings of stadium seating, Jumbotrons and smoke machines. So churches are trying new tricks.

As reported in today’s New York Times, “’It’s unsettling for a movement that’s lasted 2,000 years to now find that, ‘Oh, some of the things we always assumed would connect with the community aren’t connecting with everyone in the community in the way they used to,’ ” said Warren Bird, the director of research for the Leadership Network, a firm that tracks church trends. Continue reading “Stepping up the marketing of God”