Monday, February 23, 2009

Is this EVIL?

every six months or so, my well-educated, visionary brother (ash meer, who also works in advertising) and i have this argument about the evils of marketing.

he says we are making people obese, debt-ridden, greedy and malcontent.

i say we're giving people hope and optimism. even if just for a second.

then i have lunch with my marketing guru friend, kim vernon - just to play devil's advocate, i take my brother's point that we are leading people astray - and she says, "people aren't so stupid that they believe us. and if they are, that can't be our fault."

that's why i was so thrilled to see seth godin's blogpost this morning:

is marketing evil?>

not an NRA supporter myself - but i do agree with the thought - it's not guns, it's the people holding them.

i started take-out media, my advertising agency, as an idea:

advertising is a powerful voice that can be used for GOOD.

we can deliver respect, beauty and love with a greater reach than art and literature (because we've got funding and we keep it simple).

i believe great marketing can save the world.

we started with the project:

my goal is to add some "big-picture" thinking to every project i work on, whether it's a new fragrance or fashion line, lipstick, skincare or a homeless organization or a diabetes foundation.

how does everything you consume make you feel more part of the whole? the community of human beings? the community of life on the planet?

how can you feel better about yourself as well as others? how can you give something back even in some small way?

as a muslim, it's easy for me to see how the power of the pulpit can be misappropriated and cause terrible suffering.

as a sufi, i can see how wide open the spirit is and how the magic of advertising can make flowers grow in very unlikely places.

today, i am going to work with veronique choa on her acai seed bracelets whose profits have already begun to re-forest parts of the amazon that were almost barren.

they are beautiful, cheap, magical and they are for sale at

BUY A LOT OF BRACELETS so they can keep up with kleenex.

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