The Manufactured Need

John K. White writes for CounterPunch:

‘In a self-interested society, competition is king and individualism reigns supreme, nowhere more evident than in the world of advertising, which peddles lifestyles instead of products, ignorance over intelligence, and wants rather than needs. But such thinking is a “race to the bottom,” resulting in greater inequality and widening economic disparity. What’s worse, when we fall for scrubbing bubbles, bouncy hair, and “plop, plop, fizz, fizz,” how much easier is it to stomach the bigger lies like war in the name of peace, trickle-down economics, or a 6,000-year-old world where glaciers don’t melt?

According to advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather, “Our job is to make advertising that sells, and the advertising that sells best is advertising that builds brands.” Responsible for the likes of Huggies Happy Babies and the Barbie Fan Club, such ad masters know that name recognition is best served up in oft-repeated slogans such as “Don’t leave home without it” and “Schweppervesence,” which in fact serve only to increase the costs of everyday purchases. Increasing from $500 million in 1950, advertising expenditures today are more than $500 billion worldwide. The sizzle not the steak. Style over substance. Mad men insane.’

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