Lovely stuff as always. You mentioned about the potential of regulating the comms and marketing, noting how it's done for law and finance. As someone who works in a VERY regulated industry I can tell you it actually happens the other way around, and differently: Governments regulate the industry not the practitioners. A regulated company can hire a comms or marketing firm that also handles the free-wheeling world of, say, children's educational games, and that firm plays by one set of rules for one client, and a different set for the regulated one. Short of not being allowed to lie outright (natch) the burden is on the client not the agency. This may sound like some version of Hell but, in fact, the restrictions add a level of "intellectual purity" to the art of marketing and communications: Can you win this fight with one hand tied behind your back and an undersized portfolio of channels? It does bring out one's inner MacGyver...

To bring this to some of the present-day rumblings: I am unpopular in my belief that, if Edelman wants to take on Big Petroleum as a client(s) they should do so freely. Edelman's job is to help their clients accomplish their goals. It is the consumer's job to determine if the messaging / approach is honest or greenwashing, and then to vote with their wallets. The risk Edelman (and others) no doubt calculate is, if I do take on Big Petroleum does that automatically exclude me from working for potentially more exciting, "cleaner" energy companies? It's a business decision grounded in the tensions of a moral imperative.

Thanks again for the thinking on this. There should be more like it.

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this is fantastic. i miss more regular interactions with your singular mind.

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