Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Mad CEI Men

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (perhaps best known for their pro-Carbon Dioxide ads -- tag: "They call it pollution. We call it life!" recently hosted a Mad Men themed fundraiser. The thesis is that Don Draper would be appalled by corporations always apologizing for this or that misdeed. Take BP. Sure they basically destroyed the Gulf of Mexico and nearly beset a flaming wall of alligators onto Louisiana. But that doesn't mean they should be apologetic. This is America, damn it!

As the writer notes, the CEI doesn't actually take Draper's mercurial spirit seriously enough, citing to his famous anti-tobacco letter that was as pure a business-oriented mea culpa as they come. Businesses run apologetic TV ads because, one presumes, they're better for business than the alternatives -- particularly for firms with unlovely reps. That's part of the market too -- sometimes, the market doesn't reward your testosterone fueled fantasies.

1 comment:

PG said...

But as Ezra notes, in the most recent episode Don told Dow to be unapologetic about napalm. He doesn't assume that apologies are the way for a company to go.

In any case, comparing most consumer goods to fossil fuels is ridiculous. We can grow as much cotton or raise as many sheep as necessary to produce more London Fog coats -- feel free to own two! It's not zero sum; your having two coats today doesn't reduce the number that your great great grandchildren can have. BP and other energy companies' acknowledging that fossil fuels are not infinite in supply just shows that they're not morons.