Yesterday Seth Godin wrote a blog post entitled Are you responsible for what you market? His answer, in a nutshell: Yes. “If you’re not proud of it, don’t sell it.”
Well, that’s hard to refute when it comes to the specific examples he gives — porn, politicians telling patent lies — but if everyone in marketing, advertising and related services followed the motto, “If you’re not proud of it, don’t sell it,” there wouldn’t be marketing, advertising and related-services industries.
Let’s say I’m hired by a clothing designer who needs new copy for her website. Let’s say I also happen to think her clothing is ugly. Is it wrong of me to help her sell her wares? No! First of all, just because I don’t like the clothing, doesn’t mean someone else won’t like it. But most of all, it is not my job to save the world from ugly clothing. Or insipid art, if I were to be hired by a gallery that specializes in paintings of kitty-cats with big eyes. Or annoying music, if I were hired by an unimaginative metal band.
What should I do if a perfectly competent horse trainer who just doesn’t happen to use my favorite training method needs a new website? What if a “dental spa” needs a social networking plan, and I personally hate “dental spas”?
What if the competition for a business I love wants to hire me? Do I take the job? Hell, yeah! I can’t wait around for all of my favorite businesses to a.) need services and b.) decide to get them from me.
Personally, I don’t think I have to be “proud” of the goods or services provided by every single client. It’s enough to be assured that they are honest and benign.
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