Thursday, May 10, 2007

Green or Gone?

Photo belongs to Dianna. Usual rules apply.

Couple of posts by other people have got me thinking.

Thinking? Me? I know, I know. Hard to imagine. But suspend that disbelief. I've been thinking about green issues and how they tie into responsibility.

I recycle, and am aware of the need to reduce my carbon footprint. But, I must confess, it becomes a little bit more blurry when we factor in big businesses. Considering this blog is dedicated (partially) to thinking about advertising and communications in general, it's worth noting that we as an industry have become ever more aware of our responsibility to the public.

Yet, our responsibility is to sell things to people. Directly in opposition to the green issues, or so it would seem at first glance.

But what happens when companies unite to sort out problems in society? Childhood obesity, for example?

Well, as Innocent may find out, it could be damaging or wonderful, depending on your choice of partner and the consumer's point of view.

Do we now put up a barrier between those companies which are mindful of ethical and green issues and those which don't appear to be (and McDonalds in this instance are taking steps), or do we acknowledge that these companies do exist to make money, and all the good will in the world won't change that (yes, it's an ultra-cynical view)?

The world is never that black and white, as this debate on Amelia Torode's blog shows. I've put my two pen'north in, and you should too, if you haven't already. Class, emotive responses, green thinking, uncomfortable bedfellows and snobbery all feature.

The thing which struck me on the Innocent site was the depth of emotion in some of the responses; some of these people could seriously fuck the brand, if not managed carefully. I'm still of the view that it is a good thing (albeit something which has to be handled with the utmost attention), but it's a divisive issue.

And indeed, it brings us to the bigger issue, which I sort of touched on above - as consumers, where do we fall? All companies will have to get greener, but will there be a capitalist backlash (not now) against anyone that besmirches the environment? I doubt it, but the pendulum seems to be swinging a little more in that direction.

There is definitely (at the moment) still room for two fingers, fuck it, we are going to produce this luxury item for people who can afford it thinking. But whether that'll last remains to be seen.

And oh, I've stumbled along a brilliant (green) blog. Check out Little Green Dot. And if you haven't already, read John Grant's new blog, Greenormal. He's done some proper thinking into the subject.


Freya said...

Hi Will, Freya here, thanks much for the shout out to my blog. I'm actually a planner in NYC and started littlegreendot while on maternity leave. Anyway, keep up the good work here, cheers, F. Oh, and John Grant is my new hero - greenormal is fab

Oakie said...

we just had a global warming conference here. More responsibility, More smiles.

PS. I added your blog in my links. Keep reading regularly.

sidekick said...

now i found my way back to your blog, and you've got another interest of mine. i'm working with a company that is helping brands find the value in cutting carbon, either through the business, consumer or product innovation. my belief is that unless this happens, business will never change, despite our good intentions. trust me, i've tried having this conversation with marketing people, and it doesn't go very far, because they don't see the value in it. finding that is the key.

Will said...

Should really have commented on this earlier..

Sidekick: Finding some sort of 'hook' to convince people has got to be key - be it commercial or social.

Freya: Good to hear from you. Bloody good blog, n'all. You've reminded me to link to you. Will be fixed

sexy said...







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