Lloyd had a bit of a rant yesterday. He’d seen an ad for Stella Artois saying if you bought their special pack of their beer they’d plant a hedge for you in the countryside. His reaction is understandable:
If you really want to grow a hedge in the countryside, why don’t you just go and do that, rather than making people pay for your poisonous and habit-forming liquor and then spending money trying to make them feel good about you by doing something entirely unconnected so that they’ll buy more.
Yes, if I really want to do something for the countryside, wouldn’t it be more efficient to go direct rather than using a beer company as my agent?
There’s been a huge growth in this kind of promotion as Corporate Social Responsibility has taken off in recent years. I saw an ad yesterday for British Gas saying they are sending all their customers a ticket for a free family swim, somehow connected with their sponsorship of British Swimming. I don’t want to sound sanctimonious but this stuff feels creepy to me. It’s a little like strangers offering sweeties to our children.