Electronic Retailer - May 2011 - (Page 32)
BY NEIL GORDON
Government, Industry and the People… Working Tirelessly Together – to Shoot Themselves in the Foot!
I remember my first job in the television industry at 15 working for “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” In those days the “TV industry” meant basically you produced “entertainment programming” that aired on one of only three existing networks. It was a simpler time, but even back then we complained bitterly about censorship and regulations. Television has come a long way, but neither the industry nor the government has kept pace with the meteoric sophistication of the medium. When it comes to understandable concerns about protecting the public, and the current state of the direct response industry, we are not achieving the success we need at either end. Let’s face it – television is the single most influential element in society (followed closely
by the atomic bomb). That’s powerful! It’s easy to understand why the government is watching closely. The public apparently believes practically everything they see on TV. That’s why we all: • Spend huge amounts of editing time agonizing over disclaimers. • Pay thousands of dollars for user groups. • Have scripts read more by legal departments than by the actors. • Spend countless amounts of money securing back-up. • Spend hours regularly tracking competitor’s claims. I’m sure you can come up with many more, but the point is these don’t enhance the products or services we deliver to the public. In fact, they increase costs, confuse the buyers and arguably represent one of our largest obstacles to growth in an industry being shaped equally as much by regulations as supply and demand. We can’t point a finger at the government, they are after all charged with protecting the public, but consider the reality: Television has the proven power to literally topple governments, speak to the entire planet all at once, and ultimately be the single biggest factor in social and economic stability and communication in the history of humanity. With that much power over all our lives, why do we waste resources hamstringing an entire industry, instead of teaching people how to watch television? EDUCATION is how you protect the public! We gave women the right to vote, passed the Emancipation Proclamation and it’s important enough to us that we give everyone living within our borders a public education. But how effectively are we educating when we fail to teach society about the most important, most everpresent single element in their lives?
electronicRETAILER | May 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - May 2011
Electronic Retailer - May 2011
Calendar of Events
Your Association, Your Bottom Line
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Legislative Primer for the ERA 2011 Government Affairs Fly-In
Guest Viewpoint: Government, Industry and the People... Working Tirelessly Together – to Shoot Themselves in the Foot!
The Motive Behind Motivational
Guest Viewpoint: Protecting Your Brand – Logistics Behind the Buy Button
Penetrating the U.S. Hispanic Market
Guest Viewpoint: A New “Perspectiva”
Electronic Retailer - May 2011