Monday, November 26, 2012

The marketing of public policy

We all feel the effects of consumerism, after this weekend. While we will be buying presents for loved ones, and hopefully a few for those in most need, many of us are rejecting the overwhelming buying frenzy that has invaded Thanksgiving.

Marketing and transforming our wants for the purpose of profit, isn't anything new, and we learn to discern a want versus a need. What I do find is how marketing/product placement is happening all over our public policy.

President Obama won the election on smart marketing/branding of his campaign. It didn't matter what his policies really were, he sold himself. He knew his market, Obama is a loyal brand. He got out the base, no need for swing voters. More Independents went for Romney, then McCain four years ago.

Why am I bringing this up, as I do a turn about on the subject, because there will be a new BBC sitcom on assisted suicide. Is this art, entertainment, or product placement marketing on killing the elderly. Presenting the ending days not with hospice and compassion, but with the business of killing people off.

BBC Three has now officially announced Way To Go, a black comedy series about three ordinary guys who find themselves forced by an extraordinary set of circumstances into setting up an assisted-suicide business.

The comedy is based around brothers Scott (Harrison) and Joey (Heathcote) and their friend Cozzo (Wootton). After Scott is moved by a terminally ill neighbour's request to die - and at the same time faced with a predatory female employer, a split from his girlfriend, and a desperate life or death need for cash to pay off his brother Joey's gambling debts - he and his best mate Cozzo stumble towards what they think is their only solution: an assisted-suicide machine. A deeply illegal situation about which they will have to keep very, very quiet.

Um, No thanks BBC.

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