Friday, September 11, 2009

Whining About Advertising

Every once in a while somebody starts the whining again. Advertising is bad. Bad, bad , bad. Badder than bad. It's, well, pretty darn terrible.

Bob Garfield, advertising critic for AdAge, quotes Samuel Johnson who, in 1759, wrote "Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic" foreshadowing Howard Gossage's "Is Advertising Worth Saving?"

Karl Marx gave the ad business a colorful spin when he wrote "Advertising is a bloated maggot feeding on the decaying corpse of capitalism."

Vance Packard hammered pretty hard on both advertising and consumerism in the 50s with "The Hidden Persuaders," and Wired magazine asked, on the cover of its February 1994 issue, "Is Advertising Finally Dead?"

And, of course, Adbusters is always with us.

Now it's Bob Garfield himself is winge-ing, of a sort, in a new book, The Chaos Scenario.

This morning's commentary on OnlineMediaDaily's "Over the Line" feature by George Simpson decides advertising is "Unloved. But Effective."

Here's a video that promotes The Chaos Scenario:

An interesting rant.