TO SERVE AND PROTECT…AND ADVERTISE

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My colleague and Director of Alternative Communications at GMR Marketing, Shelley Nielsen, pointed me to this article in Media Life magazine. It seems, ladies and gentlemen, that it is now possible to advertise on police cars.

Yes, you can logo the cops. You can co-op the fuzz. You can brand The Man.

Normally, I would rail against the intrusion of advertising. I would point to this example as another indication that, as marketers, we are all goign to hell in a handbasket. I would intone the over-used mantra of ad clutter. I would express dismay at the mindlessness of any marketer who would want to put their product on the hood of a Ford Crown Victoria sedan. But this…this I am wildly enjoying.

Sure, it’s still stupid marketing. But, perversely, I love it. I can’t help but smile.

I think this is that crack in the system that George Carlin mentions in his stand-up routines, or an indication of the social malaise that a Noam Chomsky would contend is pervading western curlture, or the hyper-commercialization that Naomi Klein portends. It’s the beginning of the end, folks. If people have suspected that cops can be bought, the notion has now been concretely affirmed.

Gosh, I wish I had a pork producer for a client! I know exactly where I’d place those ads. How about a video camera manufacturer like Sony or Canon? Would police departments accept ads from Absolut? Can Zig Zag advertise? Ice T has a clothing line, you know.

And I can’t wait for the future episodes of “Cops” or “America’s Most Wanted.” Talk about product placement: this drug bust is brought to you by…wait for it…Pfizer.

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