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Friday, January 23, 2009

Sustainability in Corporate Advertising

Rather than Sustainability in Advertising, I should have titled my previous post Sustainability in Product Advertising.

The contrast is particularly evident if you look at the corporate level advertising in the Washington Post on Inauguration Day yesterday, targeted I am sure at the new Administration. There are many more corporate adverts than product adverts and they feature sustainability credentials much more heavily. For example, Nordstrom (Scholarship Program), Exxon Mobil (energy, environment and poverty), Lockheed Martin (national security and economic stability), Energy (energy availability), Monsanto (water and irrigation), IBM (environment, health, food…).

I am wondering if the focus on sustainability in corporate advertising, relative to the lower weighting in product advertising indicates a perception on behalf of companies that consumers really don’t care much. Or does it indicate that companies perceive that government cares a lot? Leadership in this area should come from companies and government equally, so on balance I think it is a good sign. Hopefully, consumer awareness will continue to grow in response.

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