This will doubtless sound odd coming from someone who works for a magazine that depends on advertising revenue, but I have always had an innate antipathy, not to say distrust, of all things marketing and advertising.
We journalists like to think we deal in clear truths rather than spin and persuasion. Thus I lean to the Bill Hicks school of thought. (If that reference means nothing to you, google ‘Bill Hicks marketing’.)
That said, the failure of the Green Deal to take off is simply a failure of advertising and marketing. There is not much wrong with the policy, except perhaps the rather ungenerous interest rates.
I am of an age to remember the impact of the 1986 Tell Sid campaign, inviting us all to buy British Gas shares. It worked, and the advertising campaign was money well spent. The government of the day may have failed in its long-term ambition to turn us into a populace of active capitalists who buy and sell shares as readily as we buy lottery tickets. But many took the opportunity to benefit from state privatisations.
Similarly, the Green Deal may not turn us all into bicycling environmentalists but it is an opportunity from which many can profit, if they only knew more about it.
So if you see Greg, tell him to advertise.
And on that note, with this issue complete, I hand over the baton to my colleague David Taylor, who next issue takes over as editor. I shall still be very much part of the team here but my primary focus will be on our online enterprise and daily news service.