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Piers Newson-Smith: why behavioural science can lead to dangerous marketing as well as bad politics

In fact, the case for behavioural economics in advertising goes further. As Richard Shotton argues in his brilliant book The Choice Factory, it improves quality too. If brands want sustainable success, they need to ‘nudge for the long term,’ by delivering good enough quality and value for customers to want to come back for more.
It’s no wonder that we’ve become so enamoured with nudging. It’s a brilliant response to the unspoken truth that people don’t care about our brands and categories nearly as much as we do.
Beneath the surface though, there’s a venomous issue that needs to be raised. This incredible power to influence is unregulated, and can be incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands.

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