Do As I Say, Not As I Do

The London Downtown Business Association is defending its decision to hire a Toronto firm to promote doing business in London.  Apparently the word “irony” is lost on the organization. 

Downtown London, like a lot of downtowns, is hurting.  The group decides to hire someone to promote the city core’s finer points and why people should be shopping there.  So instead of shopping at home for this service, it hires a Toronto firm whose first order of business will be to conduct a study on downtown London…because the firm is unfamiliar with the area’s attributes.  There are plenty of local companies to choose from and they have the advantage of already being aware of what London has to offer.  At a time when London ad agencies can least afford to get passed over, tens of thousands of dollars will go out of the market to promote the market. 

What is the message here?  If there’s honesty in advertising, I have some suggestions for slogans.

“Do business in London even though we didn’t!”

“London has everything you need unless you need to promote yourself and then you have to go elsewhere!”

“We’re spending thousands of dollars in Toronto to tell you why you should keep your dollars at home!”

It’s so misguided and foolish, it would be funny if there were anything to laugh about with regard to the economic woes of some local businesses.