Advertising: Modern Day Brainwashing

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Brainwashing and Mind Control are “best thought of as a series of techniques that are used over time to shape a person’s perception, cognition, emotions, decision making and behavior to such an extent that they have lost their freedom of choice” (Mind Control Today). These techniques, once in existence within authoritarian and totalitarian governments, are increasingly being practiced by advertising companies and mass media. There are extensive similarities among the political and economic standards that cause negative impacts on society, as a result of adopting these mind control tactics. As Malcom X pointed out, “The media is the most powerful entity on earth, because they control the minds of the masses”. Advertisers and corporations are liable for using modern and sophisticated forms of mind control to the extent level of brainwashing consumers, in order to manipulate their choices and their spending habits. Our society is being negatively impacted, by becoming a consumer driven society constantly distracted by overwhelming persuasive advertisements, as opposed to ideal informative advertisements. The most vulnerable and negatively impacted targets of persuasive advertising are the younger, less mature, and/or less knowledgeable and self-directed consumers. Ironically, it was once said “An advertising agency is 85 percent confusion and 15% commission” (Allen). It is quite clear that social benefits are not part of this equation. The harm and severe social related costs far outweigh any economic growth and benefits deemed necessary for advertising and marketing companies. Research suggests that we can actually influence the human mind without them being consciously aware. “Anything which is perceived consciously is open to ... ... middle of paper ... ...nfidence.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. Orwell, George, and Erich Fromm. 1984: A Novel. New York, NY: Signet Classic, 1961. Print. O’Sullivan, Geremiah. “The Social and Cultural Effects of Advertising.” N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. Rowland, Meghan, and Chris Turner-Neal. Brainwashing for Beginners. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2011. Print. Sheehan, Kim. Controversies in Contemporary Advertising. 2nd ed. California: Sage Publications, 2014. Print. Taylor, Eldon. Mind Programming. 7th ed. Hay House, 2012. Print. Tellis, Gerard J., and Tim Ambler. The Sage Handbook of Advertising. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2007. Print. Winn, Denise. The Manipulated Mind: Brainwashing, Conditioning, and Indoctrination. Malor Books, 2000. Print. Winder, Ted. “Subliminal Influence at the Supermarket: Part One." A New Take. N.p., 4 Jan. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.

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