theCriticalThought.com May 2017          Tom Ersin, Managing Editor
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Ad Execs Take Over U.N.;
New Illuminati Start Taking
New World Orders for
Naming Rights to 7 Wonders

Even Madison Avenue says this is bad news



Does the advertising industry have too much power? Does a large brown furry mammal belonging to the family Ursidae (of the order Carnivora) defecate in a woodland area supporting an understory of shrubs, herbs, or grasses?

Here is a sampling of the wide reporting on this subject:

— "What Are You Worth? Audience for Sale" (Hague, 1986)
— "Product Placement Turns TV Programs Into Commercials"  (Gillin, 2005)
— "Sex, Lies, and Advertising" (Steinem, 1990)
— "Ad Execs Take Over U.N.; New Illuminati Start Taking New World Orders for Naming Rights to 7 Wonders" (It could happen! 2009)

I can see it now: The Leaning Tower of Domino’s Pisa; The Jeep Grand "Cooking: That's what wives are for."Cherokee Canyon; Great Wall Drug of China; Chrysler Stonehenge ("This new model really stands the test of time"). And of course, the Brooklyn Bridge is always for sale. Seriously, where will it all end? At some point, society will be crushed under the weight of its own advertising, and critical thought will be the primary casualty.

The articles listed above are rife with examples of content manipulation by sponsors. According to Shawn Rafuse in "Advertising and the Rise of the Consumer Culture," the development of mass production in 1920s America inevitably had to lead to mass consumption for it to survive. And mass consumption inevitably leads to a stomachache — or more aptly, a headache — from the monstrous amounts of exaggeration, misinformation, prevarication, equivocation, and fabrication involved in persuading us to mass consume. And that rhymes with gloom. Right here in River City. 

It seems that the movie and television industries can’t make ends meet anymore without product placement — or more likely, they can’t resist the additional profit. Gloria Steinem laid out the reason for Ms. magazine’s ad revenue struggles in the 1970s and ‘80s: editorial integrity. The readership and circulation were on par with many other financially healthy magazines; however, they couldn’t reconcile the "complimentary copy" requirements with Ms.’ (quality) journalistic philosophy. Complimentary copy are recipes, beauty tip articles, and other fluff that appears opposite ad copy. Advertising clients mandate this practice for women's magazines because they believe it strengthens the ad’s persuasive value. Sadly, those advertisers refused to change their demands no matter how much marketing research proved them wrong.

Broadcasting [and much print media] ... exists primarily to deliver a specific commodity [us] to paying advertisers (Hague, 1986).

If you marry the right product to the right script ...  they won’t even notice what’s going on (Dave Harkness, VP for ad-consulting group VNU; Gillin, 2005).

"You can fool some of the people all of the time ...." You know the quote (P.T. Barnum, or Abraham Lincoln, or Lincoln’s chamber pot attendant — the source is disputed). But it needs an update: You can fool most of the people most of the time — with a slick ad agency. ■



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Ad: "Start babies out early on cola."

 

Does the advertising industry have too much power? Does a large brown furry mammal belonging to the family Ursidae (of the order Carnivora) defecate in a woodland area supporting an understory of shrubs, herbs, or grasses?

 

Ad: "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!"

 

I can see it now: The Leaning Tower of Domino's Pisa; The Jeep Grand Cherokee Canyon; Great Wall Drug of China; Chrysler Stonehenge ("this new model really stands the test of time"). And of course, the Brooklyn Bridge is always for sale.

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