We do occasionally get a slow day at work, nothing but dull PoS items being requested by clients, waiting for translations back for a European market, getting the odd TV Ad through Clearcast etc. On these days I usually trawl through the ad press and blogosphere for ideas for posts on here (when I’m done with catching up on admin of course).  I was watching a talk given by the legendary BBH founder and Tech-incubatoralist Sir John Hegarty to an audience of marketers when I heard him express his dislike for the word ‘consumer.’ Intrigued by this I googled around and found it elaborates on in a written interview with Ad Age. Sir John states that ‘It’s demeaning. I think it just implies that the people we talk to just wait for our sales messages to be directed to whatever it is we want them to do. And I think that great advertising, great work, great brands have a dialogue with the people they talk to.’ For some reasoning this reasonated with me, I’m reminded of an analogy I read somewhere about advertising essentially being like one of Istanbul’s famous Bazaars where stall-owners all selling very similar items get mere seconds to capture your interest as you make your way through the crowded scene. One doesn’t walk through the crowded market simply waiting to hear the various propositions on things that they don’t really want or need, the individual’s attention is an earned prvillege, not a right as the passivity of word ‘consumer’ suggests. So just a thought really, something to mull over in the old noggin! I’ve certainly used the word a lot here, here and here but for now I’m retiring it from this blog.


One thought on “Quick thought: My moratorium on the word ‘consumer’

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