Friday, 16 May 2008

What is an ordinary thief?

If you squint long enough you'll see that the headline on this ad reads; You're an ordinary thief if you listen to illegally downloaded music.

An ordinary thief?

Since when do kids use words like that?

This ad was created by the in-house team at MTV and shows, I think, a complete lack of understanding of both the target market and the issue.

Nobody ever called me an 'ordinary thief' when I was a teenager taping songs off the radio. Nor did this activity make me not want to buy records.

Records were cool. I always felt a couple of inches taller walking down the high street with 12" of vinyl in a paper bag under arm.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Strolling Bones became friends after they struck up a conversation about the albums they were carrying.

All this surely changed with the introduction of the CD.

Even more so with the arrival of the iPod.

Both my kids have iPods.

Do they covet CDs or records? Not really.

However they do love having the album covers in their iTunes cover flow.

It's only one man's opinion, but kids don't see downloading as stealing.

For them it's the same as me taping songs off the radio.

The difference is they'll never go on to become record buyers like I did.

So perhaps rather than persecuting kids for downloading, the record companies and their friends at MTV should be thinking about how to get the kids to hand over their cash.

Click on the ad to enlarge if you wish.