Which of the following profession is least trusted?
a) Advertising Professionals
I know, pretty close huh? Give it your best shot.
Anything? Trust me, it’s not a trick question. Go with your guts.
If you answered (a), then shame on you! Come on, we’re not that bad. The correct answer is (c), no surprises there really. So how do we ad pros rate? It’s disheartening that the people who work in advertising are less trusted than even lawyers. Yes, I work in the second least trusted profession, after politicians, according to an international research done recently by the GfK Group.
I stumbled upon this fact on a rather interesting website call stoptheadness.org. It’s pretty much an agency initiated drive to spread the word about bad advertising or b-advertising. Those irritating, offending, mind-numbing, privacy-trespassing communications that seem to be everywhere these days. And I must say I am guilty of quite a few of those in my time.
The site even outlines a pledge that industry professionals can sign, as follows:
To anyone who experiences my advertising, I respectfully promise to:
Always reward your attention with something that is useful, entertaining or informative.
Never bombard you with messages anywhere and everywhere just because I can.
Communicate with you in honest, real and authentic ways.
Constantly collaborate with you by really listening to your wants and needs, and responding with information that actually meets them.
Create, execute and deliver communications that are audience-appropriate and relevant to your life.
Enable you to share our messages with others who may also need them or who can help you make the best decision.
Help you investigate more deeply if you need more information to make the best decision.
Always recognize my responsibility to you and be considerate of your time, privacy and feelings.
Reinvent the social contract of advertising by creating communications you welcome into your life instead of avoid.
Yes, I signed it. But to actually practise it in day-to-day life, would be like promising not to use the word ‘free’ in my copy ever again. But it’s a start to become a more responsible ad person, although the paymasters would have more than a few words to say about this.
In the meantime, I’ll have to start working on my trust issues.