15 March, 2007

My Little Corner of The Zeitgeist

So I got an email from dolphin, which clued me in to this wonderfulness.

It appears that I'm not the only one who thinks that conspicuous consumption is a poor solution to the world's ills.

As they say:

Join us in rejecting the ti(red) notion that shopping is a reasonable response to human suffering.


At 1:56 PM, March 15, 2007, Blogger Slartibartfast said...

This is wonderful.

You realise you're going to be called a spoil sport and all kinds of other names, don't you?

I'm not one to tell others what to do, and I love our free market economy.

But for me, this is wonderful.

Later on, I'll tell you why.

At 4:15 PM, March 15, 2007, Blogger Malia said...

Right on!

At 10:48 PM, March 15, 2007, Blogger bridgett said...

Yay! Love it.

At 11:04 AM, March 17, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

Hi all,

This comment is from Ben Davis, one of the initiators of buylesscrap. Attention grabbing parody aside, we'd like to see real and constructive reforms in the cause related marketing industry.

Following is a letter we've sent to RED CEO Bobby Shriver. We still await his reply. Would love your thoughts.


Dear Mr. Shriver,

RED is an extraordinary and innovative endeavor founded and supported by some of our generation's most remarkable personalities, entrepreneurs, thinkers and leaders, as well as some of the world's most talented product designers and marketers -- giving RED products instant credibility and appeal with consumers. Clearly RED has the potential to do amazing good.

The recent questions about the effectiveness of RED's business model suggest that consumers, when buying certain RED products, cannot know exactly how much money makes it to charity. Additionally, there is the concern about how much money has been spent on advertising by RED's partners. Hence, RED is experiencing its first crisis as a brand: a lack of consumer confidence.

Perhaps it's time for RED to assert innovation and leadership once more -- rising to the challenge of hearing and addressing these consumer concerns head on. After all, RED is a new revenue model. It's only natural that it make smart, on-the-fly adjustments and improvements. And, as consumers we must grant RED the grace to wisely and openly adapt on its way to becoming a truly sustainable success.

It would seem that RED's first order of business is winning back consumer confidence. This can be accomplished in three bold, yet simple steps:

1) RED and its partners provide administrative transparency. Let consumers know exactly what has been spent, by whom, and on what. Just as non-profits must provide administrative accountings of how they spend our donations, let RED and its corporate partners be proud of their accomplishments and disclose the figures publicly. This will genuinely answer questions and address consumer concerns.

2) Adopt reformed contribution models that make clear how much money goes to The Global Fund with each purchase--replacing the current models that do not. Consumers require the confidence of knowing exactly how much money goes to charity with each purchase. Remove all doubt and include this information right on the price tag.

3) Make it possible and easy to donate to The Global Fund directly--without requiring a purchase--via clear web links and by installing informational kiosks and/or clearly marked ways to give at check-out counters in retail locations. Doing this would eliminate consumer confusion and cynicism about RED partners and their contributions. And, the links and kiosks would increase awareness about the African AIDS crisis and create a new and valuable stream of money to help save lives.

The immediate implementation of these steps would demonstrate RED's commitment to regaining, respecting and rewarding consumer trust. In addition, making these sensible changes would help establish a set of best practices for future cause-related marketing efforts that may pattern themselves on RED's success. This would create an even greater and lasting positive legacy for RED.

Ben Davis –San Francisco, CA

At 4:02 PM, April 13, 2007, Blogger M. Simon said...

Buying stuff brings the price down and makes more used good available to the poor.

My son got a free PC off the street because some one bought a new one. We have a free TV, a free Microwave and a very cheap used car because some one bought new stuff.

I love America. Where the poor can live like (shabby) kings.

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