Just when you think Americans had grown media and marketing savvy, this happens.
By this, I mean a new Harris Interactive Poll in which a surprising percentage of consumers blame the media and in particular, the advertising industry, for the recession. According to the poll, "Two-thirds of Americans (66%) believe advertising agencies have at least some responsibility for the current economic crisis because they caused people to buy things they couldn’t afford. In fact, one-third (33%) believe they have complete or a great deal of responsibility." Blame for the economic crisis was also laid at the doorsteps of newspapers and news channels.
The absurdity of this kind of "blame of messenger" reaction is encapsulated in this AdAge article today, which points out that "the findings come despite the obvious irony that advertising and media have been deeply affected by the economy, with massive layoffs at ad agencies and the folding of dozens of newspapers."
The poll must come as particularly disturbing news to the Obama Administration, which has worked hard to put the President "out there" to explain the root causes of the crisis to the public, promote his solutions, and encourage everyone to accept their role in the disaster and make changes in their lives that will help in getting the country back on the right track.
I guess that despite our growth as a consumer nation, we still haven't matured enough to take responsibility for our own actions. Just like little kids, it's easier to blame someone else rather than take the rap yourself.