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If anyone here is in Advertising or Marketing, kill yourself. Bill Hicks, ‘Revelations’ Live at Dominion Theatre London
There’s a radio commercial that says a certain diet pill works three times faster than starvation. George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?
Advertising sells you things you don’t need and can’t afford, that are overpriced and don’t work. And they do it by exploiting your fears and insecurities, and if you don’t have any they’ll be glad to give you a few by showing you a nice picture of a woman with big tits. That’s the essence of advertising: big tits. Threateningly big tits. George Carlin, 1997
The fact is that the modern implementation of the prison planet has far surpassed even Orwell’s 1984 and the only difference between our society and those fictionalized by Huxley, Orwell and others, is that the advertising techniques used to package the propaganda are a little more sophisticated on the surface.
Yet just a quick glance behind the curtain reveals that the age old tactics of manipulation of fear and manufactured consensus are still being used to force humanity into accepting the terms of its own imprisonment and in turn policing others within the prison without bars. Paul Joseph Watson
Somehow the average citizen thinks that his or her mind could never be manipulated, and yet every day we’re manipulated by each other, we’re manipulated by advertising – a thousand things impact and manipulate us in different ways. Dr Margaret Singer, Emeritus Professor Berkeley UC
Advertising split the early web community. Download: The True Story of the Internet, Science 2008
What’s advertising but a legalised con game? And what the hell’s marriage? The Anderson Tapes 1971 starring Sean Connery & Christopher Walken & Alan King & Martin Balsam & Dyan Cannon & Ralph Meeker Val Avery & Dick Anthony Williams & Garrett Morris et al, director Sidney Lumet, Duke
A small advertisement appears in the classified section of the Chicago Times: $5000 Reward: For Killers of Officer Bundy on December 9 1932. Call Northside 777. Ask for Tillie Wiecek 12-7 p.m. State of Grace 1990 starring Sean Penn & Ed Harris & Gary Oldman & Robin Wright & John Turturro & R D Call & John C Reilly & Joe Viterelli & Burgess Meredith & Marco St John & Mo Gaffney & Deirdre O’Connell & Thomas G Waites et al, director Phil Joanou, Borelli
By 1929 more money is spent on advertising than on education. America: The Story of the US: Bust, History 2010
Every night I watch the nightly news. It’s funded by the pharmaceutical companies. Virtually every ad is a drug ad. They get their say every night on the nightly news through advertising. Michael Moore
The entire ad campaign ... was intrinsically deceptive. Stephen Gardner, Assistant US Attorney General
Everyone knows that when you look at a television ad, you do not expect to get information. You expect to see delusion and imagery. Noam Chomsky
A tremendous amount of the entrepreneurial initiative, if you want to call it that, comes from the dynamic state sector on which most of the economy relies to socialize costs and risks and privatize eventual profit. And that’s achieved by, if you like, advertising. Noam Chomsky
News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising. Lord Northcliffe
All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news. George Orwell, Why I Write
The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper. Thomas Jefferson
A hundred years ago a new theory of human nature was put forward by Sigmund Freud. He had discovered he said primitive sexual and aggressive forces hidden deep inside the minds of all human beings. Forces which if not controlled, led individuals and societies to chaos and destruction. Adam Curtis, The Century of the Self I: Happiness Machines, BBC 2002
Bernays was the first person to take Freud’s ideas about human beings and use them to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations for the first time how they could make people want things they didn’t need by linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires. Out of this would come a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying people’s inner selfish desires, one made them happy and thus docile. It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate our world today. ibid.
Freud’s idea that hidden inside all humans were dangerous instinctual drives. ibid.
‘If you could use propaganda for war, you could certainly use it for peace.’ ibid. Bernays, 1991 interview
Bernays returned to New York and set up as a public relations counsel in a small office off Broadway. It was the first time the term had been used. ibid.
He wondered if he could make money by manipulating the unconscious. ibid.
Bernays set out to experiment with the minds of the popular classes. His most dramatic experiment was to persuade women to smoke. At that time there was a taboo against women smoking. And one of his early clients, George Hill, the president of the American tobacco corporation, asked Bernays to find a way of breaking it. ibid.
What Bernays had created was the idea that if a woman smoked, it made here more powerful and independent. An idea that still persists today. It made him [Bernays] realise that it was possible to persuade people to behave irrationally if you linked products to their emotional desires and feelings. The idea that smoking actually made women freer was completely irrational but it made them feel more independent. ibid.
For the first time politics became involved in public relations. ibid.
What was beginning to emerge in the 1920s was a new idea of how to run mass democracy. At its heart was the consuming self which not only made the economy work but was happy and docile, so created a stable society. ibid.
He [Bernays] was about to help create a vision of the Utopia that free market capitalism would build in America if it was unleashed. ibid.
By the late ’50s psychoanalysis had become deeply involved in driving consumerism in America. Most advertising companies employed psychoanalysts … They had created new ways to understand consumers’ motives above all with the focus group. Adam Curtis, The Century of the Self III: There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads
The principles underlying propaganda are extremely simple. Find some common desire, some widespread unconscious fear or anxiety; think out some way to relate this wish or fear to the product you have to sell; then build a bridge of verbal or pictorial symbols over which your customer can pass from fact to compensatory dream, and from the dream to the illusion that your product, when purchased, will make the dream come true. They are selling hope.
We no longer buy oranges, we buy vitality. We do not just buy an auto, we buy prestige. And so with all the rest. In toothpaste, for example, we buy not a mere cleanser and antiseptic, but release from the fear of being sexually repulsive. In vodka and whisky we are not buying a protoplasmic poison which in small doses, may depress the nervous system in a psychologically valuable way; we are buying friendliness and good fellowship, the warmth of Dingley Dell and the brilliance of the Mermaid Tavern. With our laxatives we buy the health of a Greek god. With the monthly best seller we acquire culture, the envy of our less literate neighbors and the respect of the sophisticated. In every case the motivation analyst has found some deep-seated wish or fear, whose energy can be used to move the customer to part with cash and so, indirectly, to turn the wheels of industry. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
When governments rely increasingly on sophisticated public relations agencies, public debate disappears and is replaced by competing propaganda campaigns, with all the accompanying deceits. Advertising isn't about truth or fairness or rationality, but about mobilising deeper and more primitive layers of the human mind. Brian Eno