I'm a marketer, my degree is in marketing, my experience is in marketing, my life has been in marketing. Now I am sitting here in front of this keyboard confessional bearing all my sins.
And I, like many other marketers are guilty of this sin.
Now first understand, I am a real marketer, I am not a salesperson who claims a marketing badge, I have not changed hats to meet people, I do not do sales, and honestly, I have never once been the guy trying to get you to buy something. I am the guy supplying the guy who sells you something the tools he needs. A marketer is like a fishing guide, with the sales force or products being the fishermen and YOU, the end consumer, being the fish. My job is to supply the fishermen with all the tools they need to catch the fish. But I can no longer hide behind the fact that me, and those like me have been helping fishermen catch fish under sometimes false pretenses.
I remember when I first heard the term organic as a marketing tool. I was sitting in a meeting with a large food distributor who wanted to push that their unhealthy foods to an ignorant and infant organic turning market. We came up with a term that allowed us to not change products and still shove the same garbage on you that you had already been consuming while charging a percentage more.
"Contains Organic Ingredients"
So we discussed with salt suppliers, flour suppliers, and even those who provided dyes to see who, if any could get an organic seal with little to no effort. Once we did we slapped the term right on the front of the box, often making the word Organic three to four times larger than the accompanying print. So as you breeze the isles you see that one word stick out and choose the same non beneficial and sometimes downright bad for you product because we took advantage of your want for a better and more healthy life.
I am sorry.
I really am.
I have exposed our sin and will repent by changing my collar from white to green.
Organic is not the do all say all. I'm sorry to say that not all my brethren are also going to see the wrongs and change their ways as well. But if I can't instill ethics into the fisherman, than it's time I helped the fish.
Read your labels, if you don't recognize ingredients or see something you question, either pull up your smart phone and look it up, or put the product back and look at other options. This step alone will let you see quite a few hooks dangling from lures and let you identify the lure from the real thing.
Next, for those items that you know are using deceitful tactics to try to get you to purchase a product under false intentions, ask to see the manager of the store, write a letter to the corporate office, and even e-mail the company themselves to tell them all how disappointed you are that they would try to simply lie to people or stock items that would lie to the customers that support them. I went to a local store and pointed out the hooks on a product that was competing directly with a store brand that was actually better and less than a week later the manager, when she saw me, informed me that not only had she pulled the product from their shelves, but that corporate had pulled it from all the stores. They cited that the corporate office had also had complaints. So in this case, one person really can make a difference.
Finally, share this article, re tweet it, post it on your FB status, do whatever you can to get the word out. The devastation of this wrong is that those who truly are offering organic products that are more beneficial often find themselves crowded in with those charlatans for sins they themselves did not commit.
Keep in mind that just because the word organic is in a product, doesn't make it a better product; after all, many poisons are also organic.
So don't get hooked.