Is it possible that people no longer trust advertising? A recent study done by Yankelovich says that more than three-quarters of people believe that companies don't tell the truth in advertising. Do we just not like what we are seeing? More than half of the populace resists being exposed to or even paying attention to marketing and advertising. As many as 60 percent of consumers have a more negative view of advertising than they did only a few years ago. No matter how you slice it, these aren't good trends. And, as a marketing professional, I just don't like the way any of that sounds. But who can blame these people; there's a lot of misleading and manipulative messaging out there. "Free iPod!." "Lose 20 pounds in 20 days." Remember Joe Isuzu? He was the ultimate car salesman that only told lies. Joe Isuzu is a great parody on how we all feel. It was funny stuff, because everyone knew there wasn't the slightest hint of truth in his character.

Running parallel to this distrust is the consumer's unprecedented control over and media and content-- MP3 players, personalized websites, Google alerts, blogs, National Do Not Call Registry, TIVO, commercial-free content, et cetera. Consumers are empowered; they self-select freely and are willing to pay for their control!

The traditional media we've relied on are losing their punch. It's getting easier for marketers to reach and connect with consumers in new and meaningful ways. I'm not saying that traditional mass marketing is ineffective, but that game is changing; there are new players-- it's a wake up call. And these are exciting times. These developments are requiring us to adapt. They are forcing marketers to look at the types of relationships we must have with consumers. We shouldn't be creating potentially adversarial relationships with customers where they feel they are constantly being interrupted, put under attack and manipulated.

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