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Marketing's Low Blow

Marketing's Low Blow

In the LA Times today there’s this article which mentions animal shelters trying to persuade people to go to them (instead of pet stores) to adopt pets. In it the Director of San Francisco’s Dept. of Animal Care and Control said, "I don’t want to diminish it by saying it’s marketing, but in a sense we have a product we need to get out to people."

It’s an odd statement, because getting people to the shelters by putting ads on buses and in newspapersis, in fact, marketing. (Which is something his marketing department probably should have pointed out to him.)

The question is, why is he bagging on marketing? And why does marketing get such a bad rap so often?

This has been part of a semi-heated discussion on Matt Grant’s Aquent blog, which sparked the former president of the Boston AMA to write this post, What is Marketing?

Though this seems like a simple issue, it isn’t, it’s merely the most basic issue of marketing.

As Matt asks: "Are marketers really in the business of manipulating people?" If yes, then is that such a bad thing? I would say many people think it’s a bad thing, demonstrated by the statement above.

Any of you marketers reading this have any thoughts?


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