Who’s Paying for This?

On a recent Florida vacation, Rich and I were
lounging by the pool and I noticed a teenage girl wearing a cute, black
two-piece bathing suit.  Across the bra
part of her swimsuit was an advertisement: AE on one breast and RO on the
other.  I thought to myself, “I wonder
how much Aeropostale is paying her to advertise for them?” Yes, I knew I was
kidding myself; we Americans pay big bucks to be walking ads for corporations.  Let’s take a look around.  How many butts do you see with Pink splashed
across them?  That’s your teenager
advertising for Victoria’s Secret. VS loves you. How about purses?  Are their Cs tumbling around on the exterior?
And how much is Coach paying us to carry them? How did this all get so twisted up?
I think it started with alligators and polo ponies a few decades ago. 

When my husband Rich was a realtor, the new owner of
a house he had just sold stopped him as he was placing “Sold” across the For
Sale sign. He asked Rich how much he was going to pay him to advertise on his
lawn.  Later we laughed at how ridiculous
that sounded since Rich had helped the guy to buy the house, but think about
it. In a way, he’s right.  Visibility,
name/brand recognition, contact information all overtly displayed on his lawn.
The guy had a point, although how else do you sell houses?

I suggest a revolution. If we all stopped paying big
bucks for clothing that displays a corporation’s logo/name, maybe they would
stop charging so much for the clothing. 
I know, I know, it’s the status of wearing their brand. OK, stop and
think about that last sentence. Really? We do that, and we like it? I’m not
talking about corporate sponsorship.  If
Coca Cola or Dow Chemical supports an event, builds a structure or pays
scholarships, fine, they should be allowed to display their logo. I’m talking
about paying to wear it around as free advertising.

I think I’m going to design a clothing line that
advertises my books and my brand. I’ll start small: T-shirts with my Love’s Destiny and Love’s Spirit covers on them, and the dates I’m doing book signings
and book talks on the back.  Kind of like
a rock concert T-shirt. Then I’ll ask all of my readers to buy these T-shirts
and wear them. Think about this—I’m not talking about free advertising, I’m
talking about customers paying to advertise for me. I think I’m on to something

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