Not much in advertising offends me, but what does is the seemingly money grabbing use of good cause symbols.
And what has sparked this blog is whilst flicking through a local paper I chanced upon an advert for a real estate salesman that appeared to me to be doing just this with the Breast Cancer Awareness pink ribbon symbol.
Now the ad had a nice big headline ‘Selling Your Property With WA’s Most Successful Real Estate Group’ and right beside it the Breast Cancer Awareness pink ribbon symbol. What the heck has this got to do with it?! Is this guy endorsed by the breast cancer organisation?
Now I don’t know if the salesman has breast cancer himself, or has lost someone dear to him, but to me it appears as a cheap shot to get people to think that if you sell/buy property with him that a percentage of his commission will be donated to breast cancer research.
Having watched my mother go through breast cancer I certainly hope this is the case and if so then that is great, but nowhere on the ad is this mentioned, let alone how much.
These facts don’t have to be because the symbol is in the public domain in Australia and therefore can be used by anyone. You do not need permission or be registered to use it or be endorsed by the organisation like you do other charity organisations and their symbols.
Whatever the reasons for the use of the symbol, the fact is the ad is for the salesman to drum up more work for himself and by placing the symbol in this ad, the symbol is being used as a device to achieve this self promotion.
Sure he isn’t the only guy using these type of symbols for monetary gain. A well known bed retailer has used the Christian fish (ichthys) symbol prominently in their promotions. What is the point of this, is it meant to say “Look at me I’m a Christian so that means that I’m more honest than the next guy”, or again I will donate a percentage to good deeds.
This may be true but it appears to me to be cashing in on Christianity for self gain and contradicts the Christian values of wealth. After all Jesus was not impressed with the temple being turned into a marketplace was he!