Brands live today in an environment where you can't hide behind the plasma screen. It's warts and all world.
Case in point the rising debate about "Clean Coal."
For the past year, we've all seen many TV commercials and print ads attesting to the new clean coal industry being built for the future. Here is an example from the campaign:
Today I came across an ad in the New Yorker called "This is Reality" which stated quite bluntly "Coal is one of the leading causes of global warming. But it hasn't stopped the coal industry from advertising clean coal. Yet, the truth is there isn't a single commercial coal plant in America today that captures it's global warming pollution." The ad ended with www.ThisIsReality.org so I got off my desk and went to my mac and surfed the blog. Effective advertising for sure.
Turns out this site is made by a group called "The Reality Coalition" a project of the Alliance for Climate Protection, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters. They claim to be challenging the coal industry to come clean — in its advertising.
Whichever side you believe in this debate, one thing is certain. Big budgets can no longer drown out a naysayer. Now, anyone can spark a cultural mass movement with a crystallized idea and, with a keen understanding of social media, accelerate it's rise among a hugely wired and activist population.