Jargon Watch: Lipstick Effect, Broken Britain

Lipstick effect – according the Huffington Post‘s Meredith Barnett, the phrase was invented by Leonard Lauder, as in Estee Lauder (company chairman) who observed a spike in lipstick sales post 9/11. During challenging times cheap luxuries enjoy a spike in sales as consumers look to counteract the economic blues. My college tutor once told me that Cadbury had seen a similar phenomenon in relation to the sales of Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Broken Britain – used by The Sun to describe the random violence and lawless that happens across the UK. Whilst it is easy to sneer and claim that the paper:

  1. Harks back to halcyon days of law and order that probably never existed in the UK (think Dixon of Dock Green and Heartbeat)
  2. Is likely to be the prefered reading material of the perpetrators who are responsible for Broken Britain

However, when I contrast this with the positive experience of a better-run society during my time in Hong Kong, I have to agree with the sentiment of Broken Britain. All the extensive network of CCTV cameras seem to have done is capture the footage of violent crimes more efficiently so they can be turned into cheap COPS-style reality television.

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