I am writing to ventilate an issue which I see as being of very serious concern. This issue concerns advertising (and its effects) and its impact on the national psyche. I have listened attentively to one of the advertisements that is currently aired by Digicel. I personally find the advert offensive and I think it belittles the Guyanese nation and presents us as (and encourages us to be) a nation of beggars.
I refer specifically to the advert that suggests that persons in this country who are unable to pay to call their overseas relatives, should contact their relatives and ask that they (the relatives) ‘top up‘ their phones so that they are enabled to call them. I would like to ask these corporate copywriters, if they ever consider the moral impact some of their advertisements have on people? It is true that the cost of living in Guyana is high and many of us have small incomes. For this and maybe no other reason, let us teach the nation to be content and use what they have wisely, rather than hanging their hats where their hands cannot reach them and therefore having to beg.
We do not need a nation of dissatisfied people who yearn for what they cannot afford; that will lead to more dishonesty and stealing. I believe that at the end of the day, businesses and corporations have a moral responsibility to help in the development of a sound, honest and safe nation. It is my view that this particular advertisement does not conform to this standard. It should therefore be removed from the airwaves. I would be surprised if this same advertisement is aired in Barbados, Trinidad or any other Caribbean nation.