100% pure or 100 % Myth

In last week’s class we learned about New Zealand’s environment and its new marketing slogan: “100% pure”. The slogan, which was created to increase the number of tourists visiting NZ, became the topic of a heated discussion on a national and international scale.

According to the slogan one could think that the environment in NZ couldn’t be in a better shape, which was considered a misleading fact, since the situation of NZ’s environment is more critical than positive. The country was ranked the 18th worst out of 189 nations when it came to preserving its natural environment.

The slogan also ignores other important environmental issues, such as soil degradation, water contamination and biodiversity loss. The advertisers who created the new brand, argue that the slogan is not about nature in NZ itself, but about the experience people may have by visiting the place.

The Prime Minister, John Key, also seems to prefer ignoring the problem. In one interview, when asked about the discrepancy between the new brand and reality, he answered that there are other countries with worse situations than NZ.

Nevertheless, despite people’s agreement or disagreement, the problems are real. More than half of the recreational freshwater of the country is not safe for swimming, the deforestation rate is growing, two-thirds of the nation’s forests have already been eliminated, many animal and plants species are endangered and many are already extinct.

Overturning this situation is clearly not an easy task, but one solution could be the investment in greentech, i.e. improvement of recycling programs and of the public transport.

It is no longer a question whether the slogan is misleading or not, but a matter of either acknowledging the problems and doing something about them, or to keep ignoring the facts and waiting for the environment to become more and more damaged.