Here’s an idea…

May 22, 2008

sorrell.jpgSir Martin Sorrell of WPP Group presides over the world’s second largest advertising services company. Business leaders the world over have consulted him on his views on how global economic trends will unfold. Many credit him with being far-sighted on the emergence of India and China, on the importance of the Internet and new media.
Today, at the Reuters Global Technology Media and Telecoms Summit, he suggested that corporations consider a complete about-face to the basic marketing idea entrenched for decades in the U.S. and Europe.  

One of the paradoxes we’re probably going to have to deal with in our industry is that historically, we’ve encouraged consumers to consume more. What we may have to do, particularly in the West as the oil price gets to $140, $150 or maybe even $200 (per barrel) … we may have to encourage people to consume less. That’s a very different approach. 

You heard it. Sorrell made the remarks when asked about his views on “going green” amid rising prices for fuel and the widespread consumer concern over the health of the planet.  

Does it make sense to encourage people to continually buy electronic equipment, which lasts a year costs a lot of money, and then you have to throw it away and that in itself causes environmental issues? Longevity may become more important. 
We know that consumers favor companies and brands that take environmental issues and sustainability issues seriously. If you talk to retailers like Wal-Mart for example they will tell you that irrespective of income and wealth, their customers prefer brands that are green or environmentally friendly as opposed to those that aren’t. 

Somewhere, a creative director is going back to the drawing board.

(Photo: Reuters)

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