By Steve Rivkin
Should marketing be persuasive? Of course.
Put the product’s or organization’s best foot forward? Sure.
But actually mislead and deceive the consumer? Nope!
There’s an alarming rise in this sort of deception in the lodgings industry.
- The Hilton London Kensington Hotel is nowhere near the museums and chic shops associated with the Kensington district. (It’s actually in Holland Park, in far west London.)
- Book a room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Beverly Hills and you might naively assume you’d be staying in Beverly Hills. Wrong. The hotel is more than a mile away in Los Angeles.
- Radisson announced it was opening the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg Hershey – but where exactly in central Pennsylvania would that belocated? Turns out it was in the town of Camp Hill in East Pennsboro Township – 17 miles west of “Chocolate Town USA.” The keeps of the trademark flame in Hershey PA squawked. Now the name is the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg – “featuring a prime location in the beautiful Camp Hill area,” says the website.
It gets worse when special interests groups hide behind dubious and misleading names.
- The Center for Consumer Freedom calls America’s obesity problem “hype.” Maybe heavy eaters should know the center is heavily funded by restaurants and food companies.
- The Institute of Historical Review is actually a publisher of articles denying the Holocaust.
- Citizens for Better Medicare is actually a group funded by drugmakers that ran ads against price controls on medicines.
- Americans Coming Together actually brought together liberal, labor-backed groups that work to get Democrats to the polls.
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet. But a special interest group with a deceptive name? That just stinks.