"In order to make growth happen, we encourage more & more consumption through advertising, while actively promoting inequality."- skidelsky
— Izabella Kaminska (@izakaminska) May 24, 2013
A large number of folks are basically broke today because of the false demand created by commercial advertising. Using monies gathered from bad credit, lousy mortgage loans and lack of savings, they went out to the market place and bought tons of stuff that they didn’t really need, really want, to satisfy the false demand created by the advertisers in this country.
“The null hypothesis that advertising does not cause consumption cannot be rejected, but some evidence that consumption may cause advertising is presented.”
In an empirical application to data for the alcoholic drinks and tobacco markets in the United Kingdom, it is concluded that aggregate advertising appears to have had little or no effect upon product demand in this sector over the past three decades.
Mr de Botton falls into a very familiar trap when talking about advertising – that its messages are somehow different from the millions of other messages we receive, process and respond to in our lives. And our philosopher goes further to suggest some kind of balancing of advertising – doubtless under the control of Platonic Philosopher Kings or maybe just the vanguard of the ‘general will’.Advertising messages are mere communications – of course they seek to nudge us, at least insofar as their objective is to affect our behaviour. Most commonly the purpose of advertising is not to sell you something but to persuade you to carry on buying the thing you’re already buying. The promotion of brand loyalty – the core purpose of much advertising – is, if anything, anti-nudge.