Ruskin, Gary and Juliet Schor. (2005). Every Nook and Cranny: The Dangerous Spread of Commercialized Culture.

Ads are everywhere.  Even the lighting of the White House Christmas tree was sponsored by MCI (who committed one of the largest corporate frauds in history).  Legally advertising has been termed “commerical speech.”  Since 1976, corporations have been worming themselves into every aspect of our lives:

“in 1976, the Court granted constitutional protection to commerical speech.  Corporations have used this new right of speech to proliferate advertising into nearly every nook and cranny of life.”

“Ad Creep” – Ads now infiltrate many aspects of public life including schools and government.  Even washroom cubicles, shopping cart handles and stamped on eggs.  Product placement in entertainment including TV shows and even children’s books.

Effects of Increased Advertising

“Marketing Related Diseases”

  • Claim obesity, smoking and diabetes are a direct result of advertising to vulnerable people including children.
  • High involvement in consumer culture causes depression, anxiety, and low self esteem.

Other effects

  • Increased demand for public goods has lowered support for public goods (eg. social support services).
  • It is damaging to the environment
  • It has narrowed public discourse
  • Corporations are taking control of our government and our culture

But Ruskin and Schor end on a positive note and believe consumers will resist and things will get better soon.


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