Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Rights Demand Responsibility

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Rights Demand Responsibility

Article excerpt

Photos of the 7ft-high wire fence around the Princess Diana memorial fountain in Hyde Park provide a quite intriguing symbol of a contemporary customer dilemma. Do you disappoint all the public by keeping them out and preventing them from communing with the spirit of the late princess? Or do you allow them in and let some of them bang their heads on the slippery granite? Do you protect the public by banning everyone? Or let them in and let them assess for themselves the probability of a reduction of friction between their skin and the memorial's smooth surface, as cold water runs over their feet?

I favour the head-banging option, but I fear that this is not a respectable view to hold in public. Modern media correct-ness holds that we should live in a danger-free world, and someone is to blame if we don't.

Apparently, warning signs were tried at Diana's Fountain, but people ignored them and so the Royal Parks officers banged up the barrier while tackling the slippery algae that were said to be causing the accidents.

Perhaps expectations of the fun to be had from the memorial had been racked up to dangerous levels following the Queen's words of praise. The idea that, unusually, people could interact with this memorial was so enthusiastically embraced that the public seems to have turned up expecting all the fun of Alton Towers beside the Serpentine.

Now that the publicity about accidents has also been spread about, surely it would be reasonable to open up the memorial again and simply provide a few small notices encouraging people to take care? …

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