That's a question Brandweek recently asked Rob Walker, "Consumed" columnist for the New York Times Magazine. I told you I've been reading Rob's book, Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are. Here's his answer:
"...I don't think there's anything productive about demonizing marketers. My point of view is that consumers can't blame anyone but themselves for their purchase decisions, and the consequences of those decisions, both on a personal level and a societal level. Marketers didn't dictate massive demand for four-wheel-drive SUVs for driving around city streets. Consumers demanded that. Of course marketers did their best to exploit that demand to the fullest, but there's just nothing productive, in my view, about scapegoating anybody."
(Read the entire interview here.)
OK, so Rob says we're all guilty. But where do you stand on this? Using his example, go with your gut reaction and rate who you think is to blame for SUVs on city streets. I cast my opinion to get us started. If you'd like to vote and tell us your reasoning, simply Comment on this post.