Advertising. Yes, most of us want to avoid it, and it may corrupt us, but...

Bob Garfield wrote the AdReview column for Advertising Age for 25 years. He believes mass media is doomed. When asked about the things non-advertising people don’t get, he said:

“1) Advertising works. If you advertise, you sell more than if you don’t advertise. But it isn’t a Svengali. It doesn’t make you buy goods or services you don’t want or need — at least, not more than once. Historically, it hasn’t even been so good at getting you to buy a given brand of something you have shown you do want and need.

2) Ads are not “better than the shows.” Given the opportunity to avoid ads, between 50 and 70 percent of the time, people will avoid them. Online, it approaches 100 percent.

3) Advertising may corrupt us morally and contribute to profligate use of our resources, but it has also underwritten media for three-plus centuries. We’ve had to put up with Mr. Whipple, but we’ve gotten both “The Beverly Hillbillies” and the Pentagon Papers in return. Thank you, advertising.”

Interview from David Carr’s Media Decoder column in The New York Times>>

Bob Garfield's last Advertising Age column>>

The 1994 Just for Feet Super Bowl ad he considered "mind-bogglingly offensive."

 



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