Public Intelligence

wisdom-signOne theme here at TCT has always been defense of the public against the idea that it is too stupid not to be blamed for the crappy and dangerous nature of corporate capitalist society. While many lefties and apparently most greens accept the “consumer culture” thesis, in which we are supposedly all equally to blame, TCT has always sided with its hero Noam Chomsky, who goes out of his way to keep careful track of the many important ways in which, even in the massively indoctrinated United States, the public is way to the left of its supposed representatives.

The latest piece of such evidence is particularly gratifying, given our main theme here. As reported by Rupal Parekh at Advertising Age:

Think politicians are slimy? Well, according to a new study, what they do for a living is considered more desirable and valuable than what marketing and ad execs do.

The study, conducted earlier this month, was commissioned by Adobe and fielded by research firm Edelman Berland. It included 1,000 participants in the U.S., China and Japan; three quarters of them were consumers 18 years and older and the remaining quarter was made up of a mix of marketing professionals.

Overwhelmingly, the survey respondents agreed that marketing is essential to business — and they agreed that it works. When asked to consider the value of marketing, more than 90% of consumers and marketing professionals responded that it’s a field that’s “strategic to business” and 90% said that marketing is “paramount” to driving sales.

But when asked if marketing benefits society, only 13% of consumers agreed. And compared to other professions, the results were grim. Teachers — despite how little they are often compensated — were valued at the top of the list, followed by scientists and engineers. That’s somewhat to be expected. But what was more surprising was that advertising and marketing ranked below nearly every other profession, including bankers (32%), lawyers (34%) and even politicians (18%).

There was only one profession that ranked lower in the survey, and even that one is just a part of the marketing ecosystem: PR professionals. Only 11% said PR is a valuable job.

According to the study, the majority of consumers –53%– stated that most marketing is “a bunch of B.S.”

The survey even shows marketers themselves aren’t all true believers:

Meanwhile, the results weren’t much better among marketers; only 35% of people who were marketers themselves deemed it a valuable profession in responding to the survey.

Imagine if we had the ability to debate and act upon such views in the political realm…

In the mean time, ponder the rather important fact that the linchpin occupation in corporate capitalism, the one that most distinguishes and facilitates the system, is also the most hated one.

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