“Ad” Nauseam


April 9, 2015 4:07PM

“Marketing is what you do when your product is no good.” As someone who makes his living in the field of marketing and communications, I generally disagree with that statement. Yet this is a perfect description of “advertising” done by the government. Whether it’s for programs like the Affordable Care Act or the post office, the government loves wasting our tax dollars to advertise its failing—and most importantly, mandatory—programs. Basically, the government is using money it doesn’t have to advertise a program that doesn’t work to people who don’t have a choice but to use it. There is something intuitively wrong with that. By using propaganda that would make government officials in the USSR blush, our government is more worried about improving its image than it is spending tax dollars wisely. Instead of doing something useful like addressing the major problems with many government programs, the government has opted to cover up the failures by trying to convince people (poorly) that these problems don’t exist. Here are a few examples of atrocious government marketing (featuring leading healthcare experts Pajama Boy and Lebron James.) obamacaree2 lebron         Don’t get me wrong; not all government advertising is unnecessary. There is value in recruiting Americans to join our armed forces, for example, but I draw a line when the government advertises programs that are mandatory such as Obamacare or operate as government monopolies like the post office. Instead of wasting our money on advertising, the government should go back to what it does best: spending our money inefficiently on programs we actually need. -Mark Cunningham