Advertising is a Form of Freedom

 
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Brand communications don't exist in dictatorships

Years ago when I was just starting my career in Paris, France, the elections were revving up.

Politics in France is like sports in the USA; lots of passionate, heated discussions. At this time, both the far left and the National Front (far right) were gaining momentum.

People were excited. There were clashes in the streets, fights in cafés. Society was electrified. I was lucky enough to develop a relationship with the founder and chairman of our ad agency, Publicis.

He was a grand old man of the business and at a lunch meeting I had helped organize, he turned to me and said, "Advertising is an indicator of freedom. You'll never find brands and advertising for them in dictatorships."

At that time, the USSR was a model for failed economic policy and the propagandized images of grocery store products simply labeled Milk, or Toilet Paper, among empty store shelves in Moscow were numerous.

Those words never left me.

It is clear that we take the freedom to communicate - on behalf of ourselves and our branded businesses - for granted.

We should guard our freedoms with all our intellect and energies.

Brands need freedom to thrive.

 

For ideas on how your own brand can thrive, call Gerry.

 

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Gerard Schweitzer