Marketing, Meet Reality. Reality, Marketing.

I have a confession to make: I love watching the financial news networks. The reason for this is simple. They are the most consistently fecund sources of unintentional comedy on television.

Northern Rock version 2.0. Apparently putting one's corporate logo on the kit of a football club with "United" in its name makes one's company go kerflooey.

Northern Rock version 2.0. Apparently putting your company's logo on the kit of a football club with "United" in its name makes said company go kerflooey.

Take, for instance, this morning when I turned on CNBC for a five-minute snippet. Commercials were airing when I switched on the tube. A commercial came on for AIG, trumpeting the company’s slogan, “The strength to be there.” This was immediately followed by the channel’s continuing coverage of the AIG death-watch.

(In a related troubled financial company commercial, Merrill Lynch has run ads for years with its slogan, “Total Merrill,” superimposed atop the image of a bull, which I always took to mean, “Total Bull.”)

But what I love most are the people on such channels who continually stress that unfettered free-market capitalism is the best path to prosperity. They then go on, day after day, year after year, to report news that proves that their belief is in fact true, if by “best path to prosperity” they mean “best path to grossly misallocating horrifying amounts of capital on a terrifyingly regular basis through the consistent application of greed-induced mismanagement.”

Also entertaining are the powerful and wealthy guest contributors who insist that government should get out of the way of all economic activitiy and leave everything (especially everything labor, retirement, health care, energy, or environment-related), to the markets to sort out, unless they happen to be expecting the government to bail out their company’s stupid choices. There’s a lot of that about these days.

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One Response to “Marketing, Meet Reality. Reality, Marketing.”

  1. Jon Stewart vs. CNBC « A Tale Told by an Idiot Says:

    […] I’d like to take this opportunity to be an egotistical jerk and toot my own horn for having brought some of these things up before. Of course, I have no audience and no journalistic credibility, so it really makes no difference […]

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