26 January 2012

Thinking Paper # 219: Government by Product Placement

By Jacinta Burrow


Last year, Nick Clegg told The Sun that he wanted to help “Alarm Clock Britain”. Now he’s calling for a “John Lewis economy”. The IIPBA can’t help but notice that John Lewis sells alarm clocks. What is going on? We investigate.

Shops and economies: are they the same?

We at the IIPBA love a bit of Brett Easton-Ellis, but if policy announcements are going to start resembling wry sideways looks at the zeitgeist where will it all end? Is George Osborne going to start telling us where he bought his red box and whether or not it’s available in other colours?

The IIPBA has charted Call-Me-Dave’s devotion to canned Guinness, Eric Pickles’ Greggs habit and Cheryl Gillan’s weakness for velour leisurewear. But now the Clegg-ulator has taken that nod-nod-wink-wink approach and slapped it all over his autocue. What does a “John Lewis economy” even mean? He wants us to run our finances based on a high street shop instead of, you know, like a national economy. But apparently he can do you a lovely deal on a couple of touch screen radio controlled alarm clocks.


The IIPBA thanks its lucky stars that Nick Clegg doesn’t shop much in Primark. We’ll never get out of this recession with queues for the changing rooms like that.

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