“Don’t tell my mother I work in advertising — she thinks I play piano in a brothel.” – Jaques Seguela

Trust is broken in marketing.

Consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages per day and interrupted more than 20 times per hour. We are hit from every angle: billboards, radio, smartphones, websites, television, e-mail, ad infinitum.  Google tells us we produce as much information every two days as we did from the dawn of civilization up to 2003. Marketing has waterboarded consumers with information — to the point of delirium.

A fire hose of information is spewing an endless goop of lies, white-lies, and half-truths. Consumers are tired of being force-fed. Enron. General Motors. Worldcom. Haliburton. They all tell a story of deception, corruption, and utter lack of respect. Consumers feel violated.

What can be done?

Trust is the antidote to consumer cynicism and information overload. And trust in marketing is the simple-yet-powerful combination of competence and character. Competence frees marketing to be okay with less being more. It says that amidst the shouting, a whisper differentiates. And character cultivates authentic artistry rather than careless conniving. It produces results without wreckage. Competence and character are socially and environmentally conscious and demand responsible strategy, messaging, casting, execution, and ROI.

We practice Responsible Marketing not simply because it’s the right thing to do — we do it because it is the only way broken marketing is made whole. And we do it because trust is foundational to success.

Let us rephrase that…in marketing, trust is success.

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