What’s with the term ‘brand sluts’?

The New York Post talked to JWT’s Marian Salzman about brand “sluts” and brand loyalists in Tuesday’s edition. The agency did research that found that consumers switch brands more often than was previously believed. “People are really a whole lot more slutty about brands than we realized,” Salzman is quoted as saying. Guess which category Paris Hilton falls under? Wrong! She’s a loyalist, the Post concludes, because she’s stuck with her T-Mobile cell phone. If T-Mobile paid me gobs of money, I’d be their brand whore, I mean loyalist, too. According to the Post, you’re a brand slut if “the name of your cell-phone provider in 2003 escapes you.” What if your cell-phone provider in 2003 just really sucked, so you changed to one that sucks less? Are you still a slut? There was a time when that was called comparison shopping. No doubt consumers are fickle, and it’s often hard to understand what motivates them. But are they “sluts” just because they don’t buy into some goofy ad slogan for the rest of their lives? It’s almost as if marketers think that just because they spend a gazillion dollars on a product campaign, they’re entitled to loyalty. Companies aren’t owed loyalty—they should earn it every day by providing a quality product. When they don’t, they should be slutted out of existence.