Over the past few months, the U.S. government has shifted its focus from doing whatever it normally does to selling insurance. Along the way there has been talk of products, call centers and other sales tools frequently used by the profit-making community. The increased use of marketing and advertising by government leads to these:
- If most advertising focuses on fulfilling self-interest, is the use of advertising contrary to the values of a federal republic?
- Is it a conflict of interest for the government to both produce and monitor advertising?
- If advertised claims can change drastically over time, does government advertising require inordinate disclaimers?
There’s more to consider of course – the source and use of advertising funds, communication mechanisms, credibility – as well as the difference between messaging and reality. Perhaps advertising is better left to the states and amateur politicians.
“We’re going to have to, obviously, remarket and rebrand…” –Barack Obama