In the age of late purpose, we may have entered the strangest phase of all: purpose nihilism. But there is a way out.
Another great read and important distinction between ethics and efficacy, particularly for those who are so bothered about the latter (or at least any more).
One of the best things I have read on purpose for a long time. Inspired a new (qualitative) formula : Outrage = hypocrisy x hubris ?
Very good. I would be harder on Ritson though. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. For Ritson to merrily embrace this cynical crap is disappointing. But if it all hastens the end of this trend then maybe it serves a purpose.
Excellent dissection, thanks Nick
1. Great headline and beautifully written perspective.
2. As someone who has worked in a purpose agency for 15 years, under the leadership of a Ph.D. in change management (and specifically corporate social responsibility), this article was like a kick in the gut. And one that I needed. There is absolutely a danger in “purpose-washing,” which illuminates all the more need for increased transparency, accountability and authenticity.
One of the issues I’ve seen is that agencies, who traditionally come from a comms background, don’t fully understand that purpose goes beyond the media mix and messaging. It affects how businesses and organizations are managed and led, operationally—from the top to the bottom. This is the danger when marketing agencies get into the business of purpose, and even more dangerous when their clients are egocentrics focused on achieving celebrity than affecting change.
I’m looking forward to hearing more of your perspectives on the issue, and challenging my thinking in the process.
Awesome thought-provoking post, thank you for sharing. I'm a big fan of Will Macaskill and his work, but hadn't caught the recent effective altruism controversy
Wow...I think this is the first thing I've read that succinctly demonstrates what is so draining and infuriating about ads like BrewDog's...I think another aspect is the sheer frequency of this kind of advertising, rendering it yet more exhausting by constant exposure, and the sense that we are being "instructed" on how to be charitable, compassionate, etc. I'm sure there are people qualified to instruct others in how to be a virtuous person, but I don't think they write ad campaigns. Thanks for this, great piece.
Great read. Thanks for sharing!