Presidential Hopefuls Don’t ‘Walk Their Talk’ —Michelson
THERE WILL be more than just tons of political “hot air” emitted in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul during the respective Democratic and Republican national conventions in the coming weeks. So will, literally, be tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Despite efforts by both parties to appear politically correct by “greening” their conventions and their marketing efforts, neither campaign has bothered to address the carbon footprint of their political advertising and events.
And they constitute a big footprint, indeed. PQ Media reports that political ad spending is expected to rise 43 percent to an all-time high of $4.5 billion during the 2008 election cycle. Direct mail, public relations, promotion and event marketing is forecast to total $1.48 billion—almost one-third of the total expenditure. Another research study concurs, revealing that the McCain and Obama campaigns are spending between $250,000 and $300,000 per day just on advertising.
According to organizers of SustainCommWorld-The Green Media Show (premiering October 1-2 in Boston), “Given the importance of climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stated by both presidential candidates, quantifying and reducing the carbon footprints of their advertising would be one of the ways they could ‘walk the talk’ prior to the election, setting an example for the RNC, DNC, political action committees, and the hundreds of state and local offices marketing their candidates for the 2008 election.” As such, the show sponsors even invited key advertising managers from both parties to attend their event in order to learn how to make their presidential campaigns carbon neutral and, hence, practice what they preach.
As any printer with large clientele representing corporate America will confirm, a groundswell movement toward green and sustainable business practices is occurring at both the business and consumer levels. Proactive commercial printing operations of all sizes are responding in kind, as highlighted within our special section that kicks off on page 32 in this issue.