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Friday, June 14, 2024
EditorialsUp Front 05/14

Up Front 05/14

By the time this is printed, Earth Day 2014 will be long gone and those that worked throughout the previous 12 months to make it memorable will be thinking about plans for next year. First held in 1970 to highlight the need for a more sustainable attitude to our planet it is now celebrated in 192 countries, and although some more cynical observers like to claim it is largely ignored, it still generates a bit of news, albeit mostly from the United States. Whether that news is news or marketing has been the subject of debate and criticism for some time. This year the US Department of State published a press release from John Kerry stating that it was proud to join countries around the world in celebrating the 44th annual Earth Day, praising its own commitment to bring about greener cities around the world. Time Magazine teamed up with Google+ to publish what they called “beautiful pictures of our planet”. The Daily Mail concentrated on its proclamation that President Obama would use an estimated 35,565 gallons of fuel on Earth Day and Apple retail outlets changed the Apple logo’s leaf section green, while employees were given green t-shirts to wear for the day. In case anyone missed out on opportunities available on the day Business Insider published “18 Earth Day Freebies And Deals To Snatch Up Today” which included online deals on composting and sustainable products in one store, and an offer of unlimited coffee refills with the purchase of an “Earth Month Tumbler” in another. Like the Christmas and Easter Day’s that we have recently ‘celebrated’ it is another anniversary whose original meaning has been eclipsed. It would be useful if those same marketing brains that think up special offers and promotional deals could dream up a way of selling the original values of these events, and even more useful if available media were to highlight those same principles. The sad fact is that values just don’t sell.    FB

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