The Politics of Advertising
America has become the epitome of the free enterprise ideal. Mass production, mass media, mass promotion. Efficiency and economic choices have become so central to American culture that the very fabric of who we are is determined by it. This difference in culture from the rest of the world is readily visible in the way in which American corporations do business: with a focus on efficiency and quantity as opposed to refinement and quality. Advertising, the mass promotion of mass produced products, has become the primary mode of communication and education in today's world. The result of a continued drive, at every level, for more material wealth, mass promotion has evolved into an art that invades every sector of American life and affects the way in which television and print media, as well as film and politics are run. These structures help to shape the way in which we all live our lives, and to shape the way in which American culture has and will evolve.
Advertising-the art of "selling it"-pervades America's various industries, and helps to shape the way in which basic institutions many assume to be unbiased operate. Many assume that the influence of advertising is obvious in television, and it is perhaps this assumption that makes the in fact very subtle but complete influence of advertising on television media so dramatic. Television commercials are indeed rather obvious on the surface, but their influence runs much deeper than the 30 second slot allotted them in between scheduled programs. In fact, one news manager for a television station said that regular television programs are just there to fill the blank space between the commercials. For example, ...
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The end result of a mass promotional society is one in which the political process, family life, and individual development are tied together under the influence of mass media. Basic social institutions such as news and communications (i.e. television and print media), entertainment, and politics are influenced and in fact driven by the promotion of products and services. The end result of a mass promotional society is one which lacks identity because it is always searching and comparing itself to the surface images and values presented by advertisements; one which is wasteful and weak, lacking moral strength and contentment; and one which is a culture of death, not knowing itself or others and therefore being unable to participate in the shaping of the future, but merely choosing from options presented before its non-creative members.
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