Selling Dreams, Fantasies & Lies

In a public letter of protest, 60 child psychologists and mental health professionals told the American Psychological Association (APA):

“Advertising and marketing firms have long used the insights and research method of psychology in order to sell products … But today these practices are reaching epidemic levels, and with a complicity on the part of the psychological profession that exceed that of the past. The result is an enormous advertising and marketing onslaught that comprises, arguably the largest single psychological project ever taken.”

They urged the APA to declare psychologists’ role as companies’ marketing consultants unethical, and recommended educational campaigns to heighten public awareness about the dangers of advertising to children.

Little wonder that advertising has been described as
> “legalised lying” (H.G. Wells),
> “a symbol-manipulating occupation” (S.I. Hayakawa, 1964) and
> “one of the real evil things of our time … stimulating people constantly to want things, want this, want that”. (Malcolm Muggeridge, Inside the World of Advertising, 1988)
> “degrades the people it appeals to; it deprives them of their will to choose” (C.P. Snow).
> “The force of the advertising word and image dwarfs the power of other literature in the 20th century.” (Daniel J. Boorstin)

Pope John Paul II once raised similar concerns over advertising techniques. Young people, he said, are “threatened . . . by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire.”

Info from CAP Guide “Don’t be a victim of mindless buying”…/dont-be-a-victim-of-mindless…/