Friday, December 29, 2006

Firefighting with pound notes?

OK, so there are no more £ notes. Bear with me.

Bearing in mind that we are starting to hear the first glimmers of printed carbon footprints on things we buy (my initial thoughts: great in theory, probably necessary, but on present evidence the practice will simply make things worse, expect for those involved who will make a killing consulting and administering it) I found these two pieces worth pondering as the health aspects of what we consumer are further ahead in the whole politico/legislato/lobbyo/mediaballyhoo mix than environment:

Food agency takes on industry over junk labels

Why Kellogg's saw red over labelling scheme

Those tasked with looking after us seem to have an addiction to 'communication'. To someone whose careers, past, present and future, revolve around this, that would seem a good thing. But I do see a rather unhealthy trend to taking an easy option, namely an 'ad campaign', which may be visible, may well cause a blip in target measurement, but costs a heck of a lot to a poor ROI.

Much as I'd blooming well hope the multi-millions of our money 'invested' in improving recycling rates (and champagne toasts in agencies, government departments, quango, recycling company and council offices to the profits (and returned?) made a careers forged) did manage a few %, I still question if that was/is the best use of such vast amounts.

So now we have directors and departments scooting off to SoHo and shoots to create an air something that the very industry it's targeted at won't wear and can swamp in a weekend's ad spend.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the 'industry' in any way. But isn't it amazing commerce, authorities and even the media can compartmentalise?

I know the issue du jour here is health, but with greenwashing so last month, but doubtless back 'in' the next, I can't help but raise an eyebrow at this:

"Early last year Kellogg's flew a handful of journalists in a private jet to its Old Trafford cornflakes factory."

Nice work if you can get it. I guess they may have felt it rude to ask why a train ride would not have sufficed.