Reaction 1: This is news?
Reaction 2: This doesn’t speak well for an industry that purports to know how to make your brand look great.
Reaction 3: It’s the industry’s own darned fault.
More on Reaction 3. The advertising industry hypes itself stupidly. Think about claims agencies often make when pitching clients. There’s the ever popular “If it’s truly creative, it will sell.” There’s “We influence people so they buy without really knowing why.” There’s “We know how to own a piece of the buyer’s mind.” And so forth.
If you make such claims, think about what you’re telling the public. You’re telling them that you control their minds! Never mind for now that the claim is sheer poppycock. When you make it, people believe you.
Add to that the fact that the industry glibly defends deceptive practices such as puffery, the permissible lie, caveat emptor and disclosures. In other words, lying is OK as long as it doesn’t cross some theoretical line. A theoretical line, incidentally, which you can place wherever it conveniences you.
You wonder why people don’t trust us?
Come clean. Admit that marketing is no more nor less than discovering demand and delivering the supply that satisfies it. Quit claiming or even implying that you have powers of mind control. Quit resorting to and defending deceptive practices. Then maybe people will trust us all a bit more.