Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

30 January 2008

Justifying an 'Unjustifiable' Profession

Left-wing economists, ever eager to snatch the scourge from the hand of God, hold that advertising tempts people to squander money on things they don't need. Who are these élitists to decide what you need? Do you need a dishwasher? Do you need a deodorant? Do you need a trip to Rome?

I feel no qualms of conscience about persuading you that you do.

What the Calvinistic dons don't seem to know is that buying things can be one of life's more innocent pleasures, whether you need them or not.

- David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising.


Jimmy Little said...

Ah, such a provocation — and from the great motherlode of marketing sayings, Mr. Ogilvy himself (one of my heroes). But there's not much innocence involved in buying, say, an unneeded Hummer or a needlessly resource-hungry lifestyle any more, is there? And not a lot of innocent pleasure in selling people the idea that they need them, either, I suspect.

And what is it with Marketing Man's need to think of himself as one of the Bad Boys (think Tibor K. et al), anyway?

Angela Natividad said...

He probably encountered a lot of finger-wagging mothers and co-eds who weren't keen on his brand of salvation.

I posted it because his response is deceptively simple. "Who are these élitists to decide what you need?" Ogilvy -- like the devil and Nick Naylor -- had a PhD in elegant bullshit, braced by decidedly supple morals.

I just bought all his books.