You will always know a leader when you see one. That is because you never have to announce the coming of a leader.
Leaders, you see, announce themselves, just as naturally as they step forward the instant they perceive that something should be done in a certain situation when nothing is being done. So it is with Internet Marketing advertising today, it is, in a word, a “mess” waiting to be cleaned up.
It is not that anything so terribly illegal is going on (at least I hope not). Marketers are exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech when they offer their goods and services on the Internet, some a little more zealously than others, and a few are camped out in a circle reserved for the most devious among us.
Devious as in showing a skillful use of underhanded tactics to achieve their goals, such as lining their pockets at someone’s expense.
Virtually everything that appears to be a “mess” is under the protection of the First Amendment. You will recall the Constitutional Convention formally drafted the U. S. Constitution in 1787, in Philadelphia. The U. S. Constitution was adopted in 1789 after being ratified by nine states.
(Would you believe that Philadelphia in the 1750s was the largest city in America with a population of 23,000. When Benjamin Franklin went to London, London was the second largest city in the world with 750,000 inhabitants, second only to Beijing with 900,000.)
Two years later, 1791, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution (commonly known as the Bill of Rights) were ratified.
The first of those amendments said “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Some Internet readers have discerned what I have discerned, that while no laws are being broken (at least not yet), some marketers’ lack of judgment has left them with little regard for exaggeration, loose facts and personal credibility.
Everyone appears to be looking the other way, either because they are making money hand over fist and do not want to interrupt their good fortune, or because they are afraid to recognize what is happening and throw up a caution sign. Therefore, an Internet Police Patrol might be in order to identify the worst advertising with the least credibility.
And since leaders announce themselves, we need not worry about creating some overblown bureaucratic organization to do the job. A few of us may just step up to the task on our own.