The road to making money
I cannot hide my satisfaction at being on the distribution list of some of the most prominent large public relation companies. Of course I’m sure that there are some other 2999 bloggers on their books too, but I choose to believe that I am more than just a name, and that they actually read my articles from time to time – or that at least they come to check out our comprehensive list of sample sales!
I spent many years of my life moving between various schools, getting degrees and learning generally useless things in so many fields that there are too many to count, but my degrees are not in literature, English or journalism. And yet here I am publishing this magazine, being responsible for what thousands of eyes glance at every single day. An intimidating task, one might say, but never more so than when I publish something that is not considered mainstream or when my Eastern European sarcasm takes over and I don’t seem to share the enthusiastic American way of looking at things.
I dearly love this planet we all call home and yet, when it comes to eco-issues, I am not really involved in any conservational activity to speak of. On the other hand my mailbox is permanently swamped with emails from PR companies bragging about their client’s eco-friendly programs and initiatives. And from there comes the thorny question: do these companies “go green” to bring attention to their companies and increase sales, or do they do it to for the right cause? And does it even matter why they do it, as long as the end result is a positive one?
I was once again flipping through the Financial Times this weekend when I came across an article written by Vanessa Friedman. Entitled “Earth Day and a sea change,” in it she makes a similar point to my own: are brands using these issues just to increase sales? This is what Friedman had to say on the matter:
“The cynic would say such brands are simply using these issues as window dressing to drive sales, and to a certain extent I agree – though at the same time, responding to these issues to any extent, even for self-interested reasons, is a good thing. After all, if someone gives money to a cause to assuage their feelings of guilt, it still has a knock-on positive effect on the cause. I mean, April is also the beginning of benefit season, and you can’t tell me that all those hedges spend thousands on tables at this and that black-tie gala are doing it just because they feel deeply about the charity involved; they are also doing it for social/political/cultural power. But that doesn’t lessen the amount of money they raise.”
And I have to say that agree with her; if, as they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” then perhaps it’s also true to say that the road to making money is paved with good intentions too, whether rightly or wrongly.
By Mirela Gluck
Image credit: Annie Leibovitz, WWD
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