When Alex @bogusky makes the move from being a glorified ad man at Crispin Porter+Bogusky to a concerned citizen/consumer at Fearless Revolution http://fearlessrevolution.com/, he is actually doing and representing a mindset that most ad agencies should incorporate in their business model.
A concerned citizen and an ad agency, to most people sound like a conflict of interest. But that isn’t necessarily the case. Agencies have always worked with the consumer perspective as an important ingredient when developing communication. Usually, it is the planner role at an agency that is the so-called “voice of the consumer”. In our work for corporate giants, its natural to research and seek insights regarding the behavior and attitudes of the target group, in order to establish how to reach them effectively. However, it has always only been with the clients needs in mind. Would it be impossible to represent both the client and the consumer? Fearless is developing “The new consumer bill-of-rights”, why not develop a similar consumer code of conduct for the advertising industry? Of course it would prevent an ad agency from working for some of the rotten corporate apples – thats a given. But that would only be a small price to pay. There is no doubt in my mind that a such initiative would result in better solutions and campaigns that would also resonate well with consumers. In addition, it would result in communication that the consumer actually felt they could trust. Products are subject to all kinds of stamps of approval whether its fair trade or organic – why not a stamp of approval for communication and advertising?
By launching a consumer bill of rights initiative, I believe the advertising industry could reinstall some credibility to a business, which today is being despised by the average citizen.