As soon as I saw this image, for a moment, I didn’t really know how to react. The paper read – Throw me away, I’m used to it. My first thought was it is certainly a clever, touching letter. No one would really throw it away. What a great way to ensure that people treat your letter with respect or pity or whatever emotion it is supposed to evoke.
My next question was
– Which is the organization who are doing it? They have gone out of the box to bring in a new line of creativity.
My final question was
– How dare they?
And I think I am finally stuck with that!
I am a marketing bug and I do believe in the strength of marketing and people. I also believe in how important emotions are in helping us make a decision. If you are like me, the first thought would probably be to go ahead and make sure that I not only save the letter but also seriously read into it.
I have seen a lot of designs on letters, interesting cartoons and what not. But somehow I felt this one really crosses the line. Isn’t it very similar to someone showing you a very hungry child, making you feel sorry for him/her and then taking money from them. Maybe their reasons are genuine and they really want to help people.
But ethics and business is not just about what you want to do in the end right? It is also how you get there. If the route considered is blackmail, I would certainly think twice before I even trust them with my money. We will never know the true intention of the smart pants who designed this, but I get the feeling that I am not going to like him at all.
Being in a business where I constantly deal with people, I realize that emotions are extremely important. Any decision we take is based on our emotions, what we feel and what it makes us think. This photograph too evokes a lot of emotions – Pity, Hurt, A moral obligation and so on. But somewhere it fails to instill the responsibility or ownership.
I would not like to involve myself in a social activity just cos someone asks me to or tries to inspire me this way. I would like to involve in one cos I really believe in it and can make a certain difference to it. But the moment a business or an NGO crosses that line and makes the sole purpose only about money or logistics, the whole purpose of the business is gone.
A business is an idea and it stands for what the company is and what ethics they stand for. The moment I feel that a company can stoop so low to get their financial targets satisfied, the complete trust in them is completely lost. The poor kids no wonder deserve better, but not when they are hogged as a priced catch just so that these organizations can benefit financially from them.
Photography sure is an art, almost all these photographers have a royalty associated with it, but don’t they have an obligation to what that photograph is used for? Don’t they get a letter which states how these photographs are being used? Did they even consult the kids or their parents or guardians that they are going to use these photographs for this purpose?
It is just going a bit too far. And this behavior doesn’t really stand!
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