Branding has become a sort of pseudo-religion in the last ten years. I have had reason before in these pages to point out that tag lines like ‘making the world a better place’ are so transparent as to be completely ineffectual…. we all know the real tagline is ‘trying to get your money’.
That is harmless enough and they can brand and logo all they like, if the product is crap the company won’t get far…. well, unless it’s either very cheap or so full of sugar it becomes addictive….. or low fat crud marketed as a health product. [snake oil still sells best]
What is somewhat less tolerable is when my tax money is used by government to advertise and promote a product that has no competition … or for the status of the officials involved.
The thing that has got me onto this topic this week is the pathetic efforts of the government to chastise children that are out of their parents control. Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, or ASBO’s as they were called, soon became a badge of honour in parts of our crowded inner city ghettos. Some were, if not exactly lining up to get one, certainly happy to wear one with a swagger. They proved to be less effective than …. everything (including, obviously, good parenting).
Now every new party that steps into Downing Street likes to upgrade the previous cabinet’s attempts, but few instances have given rise to so much mirth.
Teenagers, probably bored by now with ASBOs have now the prospect of earning a CRIMBO. This is, in itself, typical of many online games where a new level can be reached and more street cred gained … not exactly the best way to view a Criminal Behaviour Order…
…it gets worse. For those of my readers who are not from the UK it should be explained that crimbo is slang for christmas. Yes.. you read it right. ASBO v 2.0 is called Christmas.
And, for comedians, bloggers and cartoonists, the announcement has seemed a bit like a christmas present. It’s always amusing when an acronym goes astray, especially when the obvious faux pas merely strengthens the belief that those in power have more or less no idea of what life is like for most of us, or even what language we use.
Branding of criminal behaviour is not such a great idea… it may succeed and become the badge of honour kids want to have.
Crimbo… sponsored by my tax monies… you couldn’t make it up.