Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Make Poverty History.

Shameless is a successful TV series featuring what is colloquially termed an underclass family. So it was interesting to hear its writer Paul Abbott talk about poverty recently.

He asserted that it was increasingly not just a matter of lack of material possessions and it's well accepted that people can be materially better off, but still suffer the stigma of poverty in terms of aspiration and opportunity.

But his most thought-provoking idea was that the first thing they do when they have any money is to buy clothes and accoutrements (he cited Burberry) in an attempt to appear not to be in poverty. The irony of this, in his words, is that this has the reverse effect.

The glib lesson is that people see through the superficial, but I think there is something much more significant here. As yet, however, I'm not sure what it is.

Photo courtesy of


Blogger Eaon Pritchard said...

I wonder if theres a connection back to the mod ethos - as defined by Pete Meaden as 'clean living under difficult circumstances'. The original working class mod dressed 'above' his station in order to blend in with and therefore subvert the 'establishment' though the mod semiotics allowed other mods to spot each other via the detail (size of side vents etc).
the main difference here of course is the 'style' vs fashion thing.
what am i on about..i dunno.

12:47 AM, January 28, 2009  
Blogger Eaon Pritchard said...

re Burberry, of course there's the football hooligan element (whole can of 'branding' worms there...) but maybe doesn't count as it is invariably robbed in the first place.

2:42 AM, January 28, 2009  

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