Businesses should not exploit the deaths of public figures

It's natural when a popular singer dies an untimely death, as they sadly often do, the listening public realise they don't actually own any of that artist's work. Hence the return of Amy Winehouse's back catalogue to the upper end of the charts. However, playing "Rehab" on loop in a riverside pub? Blaring out every track from Back to Black in a Chelsea shoe shop as fashionable ladies browse stilettos? Some, including Independent columnist Susie Rushton, couldn't help thinking that her music hung in the air in too many public places this weekend, as though businesses hoped that an aura of sympathy and sadness might drive shoppers to exercise a little retail therapy.

All the Yes points:

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Businesses should not exploit the deaths of public figures
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Businesses should not exploit the deaths of public figures
Yes because...

Respect for the dead

It is disrespectful and insensitive to commercialize a death. It is almost as if a sudden celebrity death is like an early Christmas.And it should not be, because it is a death. Whether it's the death of OBL or Amy Winehouse, it is a death and should not be a special 'occasion' that becomes an excuse to shop until you drop.

"Do shops think Amy will encourage us to spend?
It's natural, I suppose, that when a popular singer dies an untimely death, as they sadly often do, the listening public realise they don't actually own any of that artist's work. Hearing 10-second clips of the singer's voice on slightly grisly news reports reminds them of its special quality. Reading heartfelt tributes to her talent inspires them to download a few of her songs.
Hence the return of Amy Winehouse's back catalogue to the upper end of the charts. I haven't been moved to do the same thing, but I think it feels like a normal response to her passing. But playing "Rehab" on loop in a riverside pub? Blaring out every track from Back to Black in a Chelsea shoe shop as fashionable ladies browse stilettos? I couldn't help thinking that her music hung in the air in too many public places this weekend, as though businesses hoped that an aura of sympathy and sadness might drive shoppers to exercise a little retail therapy."[[http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/columnists/susie-rushton-dont-kid-us-youre-in-charge-2330125.html]]

No because...

Fans need to grieve in their own way. Some stocks go up when a natural disaster happens. That does not mean that those stocks should not be sold.

Nasim Taleb's entire career is based on his black swan approach. The unpredictable may be sad for most people but it does happen and people naturally cash in on it.

Point being, it's not as if businesses go out of their way to make sure a celebrity dies so they can benefit. Sometimes bad things make money,

Secondly Just as after an epidemic is announced, people take precautionary measures and research cures. Pharmacies profit, as do medical consultants. People afraid that they may have the sickness queue up at clinics and hospitals.
Fans and neo-fans line up in stores to get in touch with stars that they have lost.

Businesses should not exploit the deaths of public figures
No because...

Good business

[[http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/25/60minutes/main5341253.shtml]]
"Asked what he does for them, Roesler told Kroft, "Well, it's really not that much different than if they were alive."
"You can't book them for personal appearances," Kroft pointed out.
"That's correct. We can't talk to them, we can't get their approval, but we'll
get somebody's approval," Roesler explained.
His real clients are the heirs and estates of the dearly departed, who ultimately approve or reject the merchandising deals that CMG puts together. This is our basement, where we have kind of the archives of the past 27 years of the company. A lot of the different samples," Roesler explained during a tour of the office."
In other words, it is almost the same as when they were alive, their dependents are now inheritors managing their business. While it is true that immediately after a celebrity dies, interest in that celebrity shoots up. It is not true that that interest retains that level. On average in the long term, the per period returns on a celebrity remains at the same level as before they die.

Yes because...

One might say that banking in on certain natural disasters or medical epidemics or any such tragedy is morally reprehensible. The notion that free medical help or at least subsidies and discounts, should not be imparted in the case of a pandemic or epidemic or endemic is about nefarious.

People can grieve the death of celebrities in their homes with the C.Ds, downloaded videos and tapes that they already own. To exploit a tragedy for financial gain is like kicking someone who is already down.



Businesses should not exploit the deaths of public figures

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