Figuring out the point of Benetton

I was intrigued by John Shannon’s most revealing article “A message that can wear thin” about the Benetton campaign (MW February 24), but must confess there is one small section which, despite having been several hundred times, still baffles me somewhat.

I refer of course to the section where Shannon concerns himself with whether the campaign “boosted or damaged sales”.

He says that it was impossible to tell, but concludes it “probably did neither” and adds, “as Benetton itself has pointed out, (it) was never intended to”.

So why am I baffled? Well, it’s because I don’t understand how any company can spend millions of pounds, francs, deutschmarks, lire, and so on, without intending ultimately to have a positive effect on sales.

If there are any other companies who have millions to spend on advertising but don’t want to achieve anything can I recommend they give the money to a charity. But do so anonymously, since any positive publicity would really mess up the sales and marketing strategy.

Simon Meakin

Landmark Mayo Communications

Thame,

Oxon

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