Marketers take on some responsibility

What a lovely bunch of people we marketers are. Leaving aside KesselsKramer’s lovely range of baby clothing (MW March 22), two of your recent lead news stories have cast us in a less-than-flattering light.

Chris Smith (MW March 22) appears to have joined most of his Labour colleagues in his submission to the whims of the corporate world. Marketers want to target the easily-influenced, so Smith comes up with an excuse about commercial TV’s ability to make children’s programmes. Perhaps Smith should watch children’s TV more often. With a few notable (and very laudable) exceptions, most children’s programmes are imported, on both commercial networks and the BBC. He would do well to use his role as culture secretary to ask some searching questions about this, but if he’d rather wave the junk-food and toy manufacturers straight through to the commercial breaks, then we can only welcome his stance (as the ISBA did) and say “phew, our jobs are safe, as long as we don’t think too hard about what exactly we’re doing.”

I noted also that your item on the tobacco advertising ban (MW last week) didn’t contain a quote from Smith. Perhaps he finds the issue a little thorny for comfort. The tobacco industry is too far beyond the pale to be associated-with. Leave that to the evil, rheumy-eyed Lords, they’re always good when you want to water down an election pledge. At least, I suppose, most tobacco advertising hits responsible adults (I shall not attempt the legal minefield of “factors that encourage adolescents to take up smoking”). Thank heaven for cynicism, and Polly Devaney (MW March 22). It’s time we as a profession took some responsibility.

Christopher Zapparat


Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here