Advertisments are worse than drugs

Chris Kok

We are under attack.

There is a mental war being waged against us by a group of people who want us to be consumers and consumers only. According to TNS Media Intelligence, advertisers are expected to spend $153.7 billion on advertising in the United States in 2007.

Advertising is perhaps the most despicable job available in a capitalist society. It would be better to be begging for money on the street than to be creating mind-numbing corporate propaganda.

Advertising is the ultimate loyalty test in a capitalist society. Are people willing to sell mental crack to five-year-olds as they watch morning cartoons before school? Apparently the answer is yes.

Kids are inundated with images of happy clowns selling hamburgers and funny cartoons telling them what to eat for breakfast.

Each day we see thousands of ads. Ads tell us to buy new cars, pointless gadgets. They even tell us to join the military. I never asked for these ads, and yet I cannot escape them.

The purpose of the ad in a capitalist society is not to sell a needed product to a consumer. Actually the purpose is to create the need for the product. This is consumerism for consumerism’s sake. It is bourgeois decadence.

To sell products, advertisers tell people they are ugly, too fat, not complete and social outcasts. Then they tell people that all of these problems can be changed just as long as they buy that sports car, body wash or pharmaceutical drug.

Most people would be happier if they didn’t have advertisements telling them something is missing in their lives.

A question that must be answered is, “what value does advertising create for society?”


People cannot eat advertising, they cannot wear it, nor can they live in it. Advertising is not going to give them an education or health care. People might claim that a shirt with an advertisement is a form of advertising that can be worn. The problem is that they could just have easily worn the shirt without any advertisement placed on it. Actually putting a corporate image on the shirt wastes labor above what is needed to get the use value from the good.

Advertisements create enormous amounts of social waste. The first waste is in consumerism. People do not need all these goods that they are being sold. If advertisers weren’t pushing these goods on them, consumption would go down. With that lessened consumption, other needs across the world could be met, such as hunger, homelessness and disease.

Also, advertising creates a waste of labor. Advertisers do not create anything of value for society. Their labor is a waste. Instead of creating advertising, they could be creating something that has real value.

Let’s take that $153.7 billion and spend it on humanitarian aid. Let’s use the money to provide the basic necessities of our brothers and sisters around the world.

As far as here at Kent State, my advice to advertising majors is to change your major. Find a major in which you could do something good for society. Become a social worker, or find the cure to cancer; just don’t attack us with your corporate propaganda.

Chris Kok is a senior political science major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].