I have already inveighed against Crypto.com and its advertising strategy. You can see my thoughts by clicking on this link, which will take you to a December 2021, blog posting that was stimulated by a full page Crypto.com advertisement in The Wall Street Journal. I was pleased to see that economist Paul Krugman, in a much more recent statement, has essentially endorsed my analysis (I am not mentioned personally, of course). Here is how Krugman puts it:
Those who question crypto’s purpose are constantly confronted with the argument that the sheer scale of the industry — at their peak, crypto assets were worth almost $3 trillion — and the amount of money true believers have made along the way proves the skeptics wrong.
Can we, the public, really be that foolish and gullible? Well, maybe the crypto skeptics are wrong. But on the question of folly and gullibility, the answer is yes, we can.
On Sunday, February 6, 2022, The New York Times Magazine ran an article by Jody Rosen, which The Times titled, "Brave Face" in the hard-copy edition of the magazine. Online, Rosen's article has this title: "Why Is Matt Damon Shilling For Crypto?"
Good question! Here is what Rosen says about Matt Damon's latest video advertisement, and about similar marketing efforts by other admired entertainers:
There is something unseemly, to put it mildly, about the famous and fabulously wealthy urging crypto on their fans.
Click this link to view the video to which Rosen objects.
In case The Times' paywall makes it impossible for you to read the entirely of Rosen's analysis, the following excerpt will give you Rosen's concluding lines:
The bleakness of that pitch is startling. In recent weeks, while watching televised sports — where the Crypto.com spot airs repeatedly, alongside commercials for other crypto platforms and an onslaught of ads for sports-gambling apps — I could not shake the feeling that culture has taken a sinister turn: that we’ve sanctioned an economy in which tech start-ups compete, in broad daylight, to lure the vulnerable with get-rich-quick schemes....
We live in troubled times. The young, in particular, may feel that they are peering over the edge, economically and existentially. This ad’s message for them seems to be that the social compact is ruptured, that the old ideals of security and the good life no longer pertain. What’s left are moonshots, big swings, high-stakes gambles. You might bet a long-shot parlay or take a flier on Dogecoin. Maybe someday you’ll hitch a ride on Elon Musk’s shuttle bus to the Red Planet. The ad holds out the promise of “fortune,” but what it’s really selling is danger, the dark and desperate thrills of precarity itself — because, after all, what else have we got? You could call it truth in advertising.
What else have we got? We have each other, and planet Earth. That is more than enough. That is enough to take us through any challenge, any period of precarity.
Let's not be distracted!
Let's not be fooled!
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