A former advertising giant says the current approach to stimulating the American economy won't work. His idea: government certificates.
Philip H. Geier, Jr., chairman emeritus of the Interpublic Group and chairman of The Geier Group, a marketing communications and venture capitalist firm, placed a full-page ad last Thursday in the New York Times. Such non-editorial items are why I still get the old-fashioned paper copy thrown onto my driveway every day.
It starts out:
Geier then goes on to explain his proposal:
Expensive proselytizing: Geier paid for the ad out of his own pocket, according to Advertising Age. It was not approved by Interpublic, which declined comment.
Geier told the trade publication he published the ad because "we've got a new government, they're looking for fresh ideas and this is the way to communicate it quickly."
The ad asked readers to contact lawmakers to urge them to support his plan. Even if Geier's ad energizes folks, any grassroots effort is going to be uphill. The day the ad ran, the House Ways and Means Committee signed off on the an economic stimulus plan that has the Obama Administration's OK.
The full House is expected to vote on the proposal next week, with Senate consideration soon thereafter. The goal is to get the proposal into law by mid-February.
Bad idea: But timing isn't the only issue, at least in the view of one advertising industry watcher.
Jim Edwards at BNET Advertising, calls the Geier's proposal ludicrous and says, "Phil, the government already has 'checks' that can be exchanged for goods. It's called 'money.' The difference between 'money' and 'checks' is that money is free to process, whereas checks create a wealth-destroying processing/clearance fee. So your 'checks' idea is wasting money before it’s even printed."