OK, so I used a false pretense to lure you in, but its not the first time this has happened to you, right? I mean, I know of a company who used one of my friend's perfect stock images to illustrate how much better of an image you can get with the latest greatest digital P&S camera. They took his great image and 'dumbed it down' a bit to create the before picture. Wow! talk about false advertising! I mean it really makes you think!
Is this against any rules? Probably not.
Is it questionable marketing technique? Definitely.
Does it happen everyday? You bet!
So, what can be done about it? Well, I have always been a sucker for a fancy marketing scheme. I mean who isn't? The difference is that, it lures me in to the point where I want to find out more. I want to research the truth. I am NOT an impulse buyer. My friends make fun of me because i know more about the digital camera industry than anyone should. I admit it, I get addicted to information. I can't help myself. I want to know why the do-hicky on this camera makes it a better camera than the other camera with a wacha-ma-jiggy. What advantage can be gained and why would I want that on a camera? I always love it when I hear a salesman start throwing all these features at me and when I ask them what I could use it for I get the glossed over look or the "well...uh...sir...you know....uh..."
Being a stock photographer, or a photographer in general, I want my images to provoke action. I want people to stand up and say, "I want to buy that widget!" or "I can't believe how the lack of environmental laws in third world countries is turning them into dumping grounds for the American Industries trying to escape the economic responsibility that comes along with the green laws in our own country. Something HAS to be done!"
But, what I hope my images DON'T do is cause people to be pressured into buying or acting in a way that would be harmful to themselves based on half truths and manipulation. I would hope that they wouldn't rush right out and buy the latest greatest thing because my image, or my image as part of a design, urged them to. I would hope that the people seeing my images and the designs created by using my images would be intelligent enough to be stirred to find out more. To do further research. To make an informed decision.
I can't control any of this. I can't control what designers use my images for or how they are represented, as long as they are within the usage agreement. I can't control how people think or act. All I can do is my own part to continue to be educated. To act based on a broad knowledge base and to work to help people realize that knowledge is gained through education. Education promotes understanding and understanding, tolerance. With tolerance we can bring about peace. Isn't that what we all hope for in our Utopian dreams and musings?