Advertising is the art of making whole lies out of half truths

Difference

A discussion arose recently over at the AuroraCitizen blog here: http://auroracitizen.ca/2010/04/28/community-input-was-ad-electioneering/  regarding an ad that was run in the April 15th Mayora Banner.

You can see the self congratulatory advertisement in question here:
 

Apr1501

 

Apr1502

Councilor Buck rose the question at the last council meeting only to receive a very sheepish answer from the CAO.

The ad which apparently cost $4K (without considering the staff’s time to create it) came out of the “promotions” budget for the ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

Apparently the CAO approved the ad as a “normal course of business” and that committee doesn’t feel the need to seek approval of council before undertaking such a promotion.

Not only that, the pompous and arrogant asshats actually believe more should be done.

Who sits on the ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE again? 

oh right Stephen Granger, Wendy Gaertner, Al Wilson, Evelina MacEachern and our almighty mayor. 
The collective brainpower at one of these meetings must be staggering. 

The term “electioneering” was used to sum up these efforts, again notice the committee who approved the ad.

All of them immediately went on the offensive.

The mayor said loudly “it pays to advertise” 

By “it” our mayor means you.

The rationale given is that ads like this “provide awareness” to businesses and therefore provide returns to the town by gaining more business and more jobs. 

What I want to know, as a taxpayer, is how? 

And what kind of returns are we talking about here? 

Where’s the concrete proof that this is true? 

What do they use as a yardstick to measure such R.O.I?

I recently watched this excellent short video on Social Media:

In it I found these metrics most interesting:

78% of consumers trust peer recommendations
14% trust advertisements

So it does pay to advertise, but only advertise if it pays.

$4k recently spent on full color ads placed in the Era Banner pays what exactly?

Yeah I thought so.

Zip, nada, nothin.

A fraction of that amount could be used to launch a Social Media campaign to achieve even greater awareness.

Perhaps the town could investigate People Centric Marketing as outlined by the Advertising Research Foundation here: http://www.pollinate.com.au/scio/wp-content/uploads/ARF-2010-pollinate-presen…

Or how about spending that $4K back into the community, like I don’t know on local struggling businesses in the downtown core that remain highly neglected, or on efforts like the Aurora Food Pantry, or even other budget items that everyone was so sad to see cut.

I guess Advertising is like everything else with this Gang-of-Six – pay yourself first.

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