Advertising and popular culture
Introduction Every weeknight when I turn on the TV to watch CSI I mute the ads. I see SUV ads, Vonage ads, Pepsi and whatever other stuff they're trying to sell me. When I check my email (I have a Gmail account), I usually have 1 or 2 new spam in my inbox, and about 120 new spams in my spambox. At the end of the month, my spambox auto-deletes all spam over a month old. I currently have over 4000 spams in there. I check any new spams as spam and then go about my business of answering emails/hatemail. Then I read an interesting statistic: Advertising profits have slumped during the last three years in the United States. That doesn't mean that advertising companies are going bankrupt (although some of them might eventually), what it means is that companies that are advertising don't seem to be making as many sales. For example, if the Widget Company spends $100 million on a new advertising campaign and usually makes about $500 million in profits, whats happened is that instead of making $500 M, they are only making $400 M instead. Obviously people aren't selling Widgets, but the principle is the same. Companies seem to be going into an "advertising backslide", almost as if we were in a depression. Except we're not in a depression. True, the US economy did SHRINK 0.5% during 2005, but that’s not a depression. It’s a minor bump on the economic radar. These days you see advertising EVERYWHERE. We use Google Adsense in order to make sure the Lilith Gallery Network makes a profit and can afford to pay for its server/etc. Admittedly we also fall into this trap of using advertising in order to pay the bills, and we can admit to it without being hypocritical. But what about the rest of the world? Advertising really is seemingly everywhere. Dentist offices often get free magazine subscriptions because the advertising in the magazine is a good way of selling products to consumers that might not see it otherwise. It also advertises the magazine itself simply by "being there". During the whole history the aim of advertising is to inform and to convince, hasn’t changed. Advertisement which we know now is a modern phenomenon with its roots in deep past. One of the greatest events of the history of advertisement was the invention of demountable fonts by Johann Gutenberg in 1440. His invention gave life to the new carrier of advertisement: printed posters, leaflets and newspaper announcements. Albert Lasker, the father of modern advertisement, told that advertisement is “a printed kind of trade”. But this definition was given before the invention of radio and TV. Advertising is a transfer of information, usually paid and has the characteristic of persuasion, about production, service or ideas by famous advertiser with the help of different carriers. Advertising occupies a major place in American society. Linked to the bedrock principles that shaped American nation – free speech, competition and individual choice – it has served the public since colonial times as a source of vital information about their open, market-based economy. Advertising is a positive force in our free society. Protected by the First Amendment, it informs the public, promotes competition, fuels economic growth, creates jobs and fosters a wide array of media choices for consumers. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech or of the press…” In a long series of cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has conclusively extended this protection to “commercial speech.” As a result, advertising of lawful products and services, conducted in a non-misleading way, is fully protected by the U.S. Constitution. According to a landmark study conducted by the highly regarded consulting firm Global Insights under the direction of a Nobel Laureate in Economics, advertising is a remarkably powerful economic force.