Losing our communication rights. As voters and customers take over media creation and distribution through social media, they now have access to the same channels (audiences) that Corporate Marketing and Government PR have – which is why people can create awesome antimarketing and antiPr campaigns that activate large numbers of people to sign petitions, fundraise or change behaviours. Until the Australian Government stops it, that is. Here’s the proposed legal changes.
Illegal: Better Roads Chalk Social Media Campaign
The NSW Parliament has this month proposed a new law outlawing graffiti on NSW sidewalks. And while this makes hopscotch technically illegal, apparently the Police will have discretion. One assumes children will be excused. Unless those children are participating with 7 million Australian members of Automobile Clubs in the Demand Better Roads chalk up a message campaign initiated using social media by NRMA.
Is it a coincidence that the new anti-chalk laws are proposed a month or two after AAA aggressive election campaign to get more funding?
Oops. “Also, communities across NSW and the ACT came out in force to chalk up a message to politicians about tackling road and transport priori ties that mattered to them.”
Amendment to Consumer and Competition Act to stop Customer Anti Social Media Campaigns
Last week, Parliamentary secretary for agriculture Richard Colbeck proposed an amendment to the Consumer and Competition Act. This will stop Australians from calling on other Australians to stop buying products/services impacted by companies that don’t share their values. For example, the boycott of products made with Tasmanian wood. And while the current discussion is around Change and GetUp supporting Tasmanian forests, what about the boycott of Alan Jones sponsors, the boycott of Myer suppliers, and so on? Note: it’s not possible for customers to use buying behaviours to modify a B2B company. They can only push the B2C sector to compel the B2B to behave. Eg. we can’t boycott Tasmanian wood chopping companies (B2B) without boycotting companies that make items out of Tasmanian wood. (B2C).
Government Public Relations’ deflection is an artform and insidious. Look deeper, look further. Can it be a coincidence that these ACCC proposals came about just after the Abbott government sacked Tim Flannery’s Climate Commission? Mr Flannery’s newly formed Climate Council raised $500,000 in 24 hours through social media fundraising. They’ve now raised $1 million – and the Gov only used to give them $1.5 million a year. The Reconsider the NBN petition has 250,000 signatures. The writing is on the wall – if everyday Australians can create petitions and fundraising for their causes they can bring down companies whose values do not align with their belief systems.
However, petitions and fundraising do nothing. Cutting off a company’s lifeblood of distribution channels and income by calling on customers not to use their sponsors or their suppliers or their distributors attacks the company where it actually hurts – their hip pocket. Share values go down, earnings are down, business is down. When activists close to the #Occupy movement asked people to shift from high street banks on November the 5th, 17% increase in Credit Union applications in one day had to hurt the banks. Let the people have petitions and fundraising. But don’t let them actually impact corporate earnings or shift buying behaviours!
Mandate: A command or an authorisation given by a political electorate to its representative. (meaning) It’s not a carte blanche given to the politician, but to represent us and our will. Social media ensures we make our will known very quickly and effectively. But will the Australian Government help or hinder?
Like the top secret TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) agreement, the laws are rushed through and then implemented with a “but it’s the law”. A circular argument – we have no say in TPP agreement, there is no metagovernment, and the Agreement is not following the mandate of the people (if there is no consultation and if its top secret, there is no mandate). We can’t even start an antimarketing campaign against big companies involved in TPP because of the new ACCC act. Or a chalk on the sidewalk campaign. To hell with that. Let’s do it anyway. In our hundreds of thousands. In our millions. Are we revolting? Yes we’re revolting. And we’re getting better at it. And that’s got to be scary for Government and Corporate sector alike.
EDIT: Also read The Happy Antipodean.