THE CLASSIC (AND SURPRISINGLY RESILIENT) LIBERAL-LEFT CASE AGAINST ADVERTISING

“At present, there is little doubt that advertising, as well as being a mirror of the restlessness of our civilisation, actually increases that restlessness by the methods it uses. Much advertising thrives on discontent – with one’s pay, physique or environment – or may increase discontent where there was none before. It then offers an escape.

voice_of_civilisation“But however perfect the advertised life may be in the posters, it is a way of life which could satisfy no-one even if it were attainable. There cannot be contentment in a constant struggle for money to meet the demands of the advertisements, or in the suburban boredom which may be achieved when the gap between the ideal and the actual contracts.

“High-pressure advertising could only exist in a society which had created insecurity, anxiety, and neuroses on a large scale.”

Denys Thompson, Voice of Civilisation, 1943

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