Advertising

Our religious art is advertising. Our sainthood is fame.

Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.

The advertising industry is one of our most basic forms of communication and, allegedly, of information. Yet, obviously, much of this ostensible information is not purveyed to inform but to manipulate and to achieve a result -- to make somebody think he needs something that very possibly he doesn't need, or to make him think one version of something is better than another version when the ground for such a belief really doesn't exist.

To keep people buying, you need first to make them dissatisfied with what they have… Advertising is nothing more than a technique to keep people in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction with what they possess and in a permanent state of itchy acquisitiveness.

I believe that, for the rest of the world, contemporary America is an almost symbolic concentration of all the best and the worst of our civilization. On the one hand, there are its profound commitment to enhancing civil liberty and to maintaining the strength of its democratic institutions, and the fantastic developments in science and technology which have contributed so much to our well-being; on the other, there is the blind worship of perpetual economic growth and consumption, regardless of their destructive impact on the environment, or how subject they are to the dictates of materialism and consumerism, or how they, through the omnipresence of television and advertising, promote uniformity, and banality instead of a respect for human uniqueness.

The dependence upon corporate advertising of the mass media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – makes them editorially subservient, without in any way being prompted, to points of view known or thought to be favored by the big property owners… The willing subservience shows itself most generally, apart from specific acts of omission or commission, in an easy blandness on the part of the mass media toward serious social problems.

If our freedom means ease alone, if it means shirking the hard disciplines of learning, if it means evading the rigors and rewards of creative activity, if it means more expenditure on advertising than education, if it means in the schools the steady cult of the trivial and the mediocre, if it means - worst of all - indifference, or even contempt for all but athletic excellence, we may keep for a time the forms of free society, but its spirit will be dead.

If our freedom means ease alone, if it means shirking the hard disciplines of learning, if it means evading the rigors and rewards of creative activity, if it means more expenditure on advertising than education, if it means in the schools the steady cult of the trivial and the mediocre, if it means - worst of all - indifference, or even contempt for all but athletic excellence, we may keep for a time the forms of free society, but its spirit will be dead.

If our freedom means ease alone, if it means shirking the hard disciplines of learning, if it means evading the rigors and rewards of creative activity, if it means more expenditure on advertising than education, if it means in the schools the steady cult of the trivial and the mediocre, if it means - worst of all - indifference, or even contempt for all but athletic excellence, we may keep for a time the forms of free society, but its spirit will be dead.

No one can deny that much of our modern advertising is essentially dishonest; and it can be maintained that to lie freely and all the time for private profit is not to abuse the right of free speech, whether it is a violation of the law or not. But again the practical question is, how much lying for private profit is to be permitted by law?

The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising you will do well in the marketplace.

Nationalism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, militarism, cartelization and unionization, propaganda and advertising are all aspects of a general relentless drive to manipulate men and neutralize the unpredictability of human nature.

Who would have guessed that, thanks to all the ingenious tie-ins between advertising, entertainment, the popular arts, and the great corporations, the time would come when one of the most obvious aspects of the condition of the average American man is simply this: Most of the news he hears, most of the music he listens to, and most of the drama he witnesses - in fact almost all the intellectual or artistic experience he ever has - is provided by medicine shows.

The death of the advertising agency and the propaganda bureau will be one of the surest signs of the birth of a new society.

"Psychological modernism," an uncritical acceptance of the values of the modern world. It includes blind faith in technology, inordinate attachment to material gadgets and conveniences, uncritical acceptance of the march of scientific progress, devotion to the electronic media, and a life-style dictated by advertising. This orientation toward life also tends toward a mechanistic and rationalistic understanding of matters of the heart.

A single factory, potentially capable of supplying a whole continent with its particular product, cannot afford to wait until the public asks for its product; it must maintain constant touch, through advertising and propaganda, with the vast public in order to assure itself the continuous demand which alone will make its costly plant profitable.

Censorship is advertising paid by the government.

If nonsatiety were the natural state of human nature then aggressive want-stimulating advertising would not be necessary, nor would the barrage of novelty aimed at promoting dissatisfaction with last year's model. The system attempts to remake people to fit its own presuppositions. If people's wants are not naturally insatiable we must make them so, in order to keep the system going.

School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.

If advertising has invaded the judgment of children, it has also forced its way into the family, an insolent usurper of parental function, degrading parents to mere intermediaries between their children and the market. This indeed is a social revoluation in our time!