Moral Relativism, Corporate Style

October 23, 2008





Cultural “conservatives,” like William Bennett, that insufferable stuffed-shirt, hypocrite, like to huff and puff about the decay of values and the culpability of left-wing moral relativists.  Over and over again, he and his ilk trip over or ignore the fact that the biggest fans of relativism are his allies, the monied corporate marketing interests that keep our consumer economy going…when it’s going, that is.  Consider the latest advertising campaign from HSBC Bank, out in force today in the New York subways:

In each Different Values ad, created by JWT, New York and London, a single image repeats three times, with a different one-word interpretation imposed over each photo… As occurred with the HSBCs Your Point of View campaign, some of the new ads have already begun to generate blogosphere buzz over some of the words and images used.

My favorite shows an image, repeated three times, of a hefty billfold, stuffed with money and credit cards, lying on the ground in a parking garage where, obviously, it has been lost by some poor soul.  The words superimposed?


Put that one in your Book of Virtues, Mr. Bennett!  Are these all “values?”  No, but that’s a minor point.  Are we to assume that the quivering temptation of the unscrupulous person who will take the wallet without bothering to return it to the owner is a person with values that are equivalent to those of the person who feels obliged to try and return it to it’s rightful owner?  Okay, kiddees, what lesson did you learn today?

The slogan that goes with all this is:  “Different values make for a richer world.”  I’ll say!  Where would we be without cutthroat greed!