Here's a brief excerpt. I encourage you to read the whole post.
Some people will tell you that the market decides. They’ll remind you that most consumers are adults, spending their own resources and doing it freely. That people have a right to buy what they want, even if what they want isn’t good for them (right now, or in the long run). That’s what living in a free country is all about, apparently. Buy what you want.
I thought we agreed that marketing works.
If marketing works, it means that free choice isn’t quite so free. It means that marketers get to influence and amplify desires. The number of SUVs sold in the United States is a bazillion times bigger than it was in 1962. Is that because people suddenly want them, or is it because car marketers built them and marketed them?
Cigarette consumption is way down. Is that because people suddenly don’t want them any more, or is it because advertising opportunities are limited?
Others will tell you that if it’s legal, it’s fair game. If it’s legal for Edelman to post a blog called Working Families for Wal-Mart (when it’s really working Edelman employees for Wal-Mart), then they have every right to do so. In fact, they have an obligation to their shareholders to do so. Or so they say.
I believe that every criminal, no matter how heinous the crime, deserves an attorney. I don't believe that every product and every organization and every politician deserves world-class marketing or PR.
(Via Seth's Blog.)