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form of communication for marketing, typically paid for
(Redirected from Ads)
The main purpose of advertising is to undermine markets. ~ Noam Chomsky
You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. ~ Norman Douglas
Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless. ~ Sinclair Lewis
From any cross-section of ads, the general advertiser's attitude would seem to be: if you are a lousy, smelly, idle, underprivileged and oversexed status-seeking neurotic moron, give me your money. ~ Kenneth Bromfield
Ads are the cave art of the twentieth century. ~ Marshall McLuhan
Advertising is the whip which hustles humanity up the road to the Better Mousetrap. It is the vision which reproaches man for the paucity of his desires. ~ E.S Turner
The modern Little Red Riding Hood, reared on singing commercials, has no objection to being eaten by the wolf. ~ Marshall McLuhan
It is impossible to understand the American public without taking into account the tremendous psychological effect of bringing up a generation of people in a daily environment of advertising. It is impossible to escape the advertising man; his sales talk assaults us in the morning newspaper, in the street car, with billboards along the highways, and in his shameless use of the radio. This means that from morning till night, in the midst of our work as in our recreation, we live constantly in an atmosphere of intellectual shoddiness. ~ Everett Dean Martin
There are huge advertising budgets only when there's no difference between the products. If the products really were different, people would buy the one that's better. Advertising teaches people not to trust their judgment. Advertising teaches people to be stupid. ~ Carl Sagan
Advertising sells you things you don't need and can't afford, that are overpriced and don't work. ~ George Carlin
By saturating the public domain with false sincerity, advertising makes genuine sincerity more difficult. ~ Avner Offer

Advertising is paid communication through a non-personal medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled. For a list of phrases used in the promotion of actual products, see Advertising slogans.

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  • Although few studies examined the prevalence of sexualized portrayals of girls in particular, those that have been conducted found that such sexualization does occur and may be increasingly common. For example, O’Donohue, Gold, and McKay (1997) coded advertisements over a 40-year period in five magazines targeted to men, women, or a general adult readership.Although relatively few (1.5%) of the ads portrayed children in a sexualized manner, of those that did, 85% sexualized girls rather than boys. Furthermore, the percentage of sexualizing ads increased over time.
  • “But your sign says you can conjure up ever-filled purses,” Holger began.
    “Advertising,” Martinus admitted. “Corroborative detail intended to lend artistic verisimilitude.”


  • People are taking the piss out of you every day. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

    You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

    Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

    You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.

  • It is sometimes argued that advertising really does little harm because no one believes it any more anyway. We consider this view to be erroneous. The greatest damage done by advertising is precisely that it incessantly demonstrates the prostitution of men and women who lend their intellects, their voices, their artistic skills to purposes in which they themselves do not believe, and that it teaches [in the words of Leo Marx] ‘the essential meaninglessness of all creations of the mind: words, images, and ideas.’ The real danger from advertising is that it helps to shatter and ultimately destroy our most precious non-material possessions: the confidence in the existence of meaningful purposes of human activity and respect for the integrity of man.
    • Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy, 1964
    • quoted by Robert W. McChesney & John Bellamy Foster in "The Commercial Tidal Wave" in Monthly Review (3/2003).
  • Advertise your business. Do not hide your light under a bushel.
    • P. T. Barnum. ‘Sundry Business Enterprises’, Ch XIV, ‘Barnum’s Rules for Success in Business’, The Life of P. T. Barnum, 1855.
  • The sponsor may be viewed as a potentate with a strong influence over currents of thought in our society, exercised mainly through television [...] It has tended to displace or overwhelm other influences such as newspapers, school, church, grandpa, grandma. It has become the definer and transmitter of society's values.
  • There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately they talk the best game. They know all the rules. They can tell you that people in an ad will get you greater readership. They can tell you that a sentence should be this short or that long. They can tell you that body copy should be broken up for easier reading. They can give you fact after fact after fact. They are the scientists of advertising. But there's one little rub. Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.
    • William Bernbach, Letter (5/15/47) as quoted in Shaun Usher, Letters of Note: Volume 2: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience (2016), p.190
  • In the average American household, the television is turned "on" for almost seven hours each day, and the typical adult or child watches two to three hours of television per day. It is estimated that the average child sees 360,000 advertisements by the age of eighteen (Harris, 1989). Due to this extensive exposure to mass media depictions, the media's influence on gender role attitudes has become an area of considerable interest and concern in the past quarter century. Analyses of gender portrayals have found predominantly stereotypic portrayals of dominant males nurturant females within the contexts of advertisements (print and television), magazines fiction, newspapers, child-oriented print media, textbooks, literature, film, and popular music (Busby, 1975; DurMn, 1985a; Leppard, Ogletree, & Wallen, 1993; Lovdal, 1989; Pearson, Turner, & Todd-Mancillas, 1991; Rudmann & Verdi, 1993; Signorielli & Lears, 1992). Most of the research to date on the effects of gender-role images in the media has focused primarily on the female gender role. A review of research on men in the media suggests that, except for film literature, the topic of masculinity has not been addressed adequately (Fejes, 1989). Indeed, as J. Kate (1995) recently noted, "there is a glaring absence of a thorough body of research into the power of cultural images of masculinity" (p. 133). Kate suggests that studying the impact of advertising represents a useful place to begin addressing this lacuna.
  • From any cross-section of ads, the general advertiser's attitude would seem to be: if you are a lousy, smelly, idle, underprivileged and oversexed status-seeking neurotic moron, give me your money.


  • 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.
  • It seems like the better it gets, the more miserable people become. There’s never a technological advancement where people think, “Wow, we can finally do this!” … And I think a lot of it has to do with advertising. Americans have it constantly drilled into our heads, every fucking day, that we deserve everything to be perfect all the time.
  • So, recently, though it wasn’t reported here, there were negotiations with Australia to establish what’s called a free trade agreement. ... The negotiations were held up for some time because the United States was objecting to Australia’s highly efficient health care system. ... Why was the U.S. objecting to the Australian system? Well, because the Australian system is evidence-based. ... They have to provide evidence that the drug actually does something, that it is better than some cheaper thing that’s already on the market. That evidence-based approach, the U.S. negotiators argued, is interference with free markets, because corporations must have the right to deceive. ... The claim itself is kind of amusing, I mean, even if you believe the free market rhetoric for a moment. The main purpose of advertising is to undermine markets. If you go to graduate school and you take a course in economics, you learn that markets are systems in which informed consumers make rational choices. That’s what’s so wonderful about it. But that’s the last thing that the state corporate system wants. It is spending huge sums to prevent that.
    • Noam Chomsky, Interviewed at 25th anniversary of the International Relations Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 26, 2005
  • In the 1970s and 1980s, advertising revenues grew faster than the overall economy. Corporate profits began to plunge in the early 1990s and with the dive in profits came a decrease in advertising spending (Woods 1995). In 1991, network ad spending fell more than 7 percent from 1990 figures {Television Bureau of Advertising, in Woods 1995). Newspaper ad spending dropped by the same amount during the same period (Newspaper Advertising Bureau, in Woods 1995), and magazine ad budgets fell 5 percent {Landier, Konrad, Schiller, and Therrien 1991, 67).
    The advertising industry almost exclusively underwrites mass media in the United States. Newspapers obtain 75 to 80 percent of their revenue from advertisers, general circulation magazines about half (Jhally 1990). All revenue for broadcasts such as television and radio programming come from advertising. Clearly, advertising is the economic lifeblood of the media (Kilbourne 1989). Digital advertising is the new kid on the block. It began in 1998 and includes the Internet and smart phones.
  • The average American is exposed to more than 3,000 ads a week and watches three years' worth of TV ads over the course of a lifetime. (Parillo 2008, 96.) This makes advertising perhaps the most powerful educational source in society. In fact, we spend more money on advertising than public education.
    • Ibid, p.5


  • Women in quantitative fields risk being personally reduced to negative stereotypes that allege a sex-based math inability. This situational predicament, termed stereotype threat, can undermine women’s performance and aspirations in all quantitative domains. Gender-stereotypic television commercials were employed in three studies to elicit the female stereotype among both men and women. Study 1 revealed that only women for whom the activated stereotype was self-relevant underperformed on a subsequent math test. Exposure to the stereotypic commercials led women taking an aptitude test in Study 2 to avoid math items in favor of verbal items. In Study 3, women who viewed the stereotypic commercials indicated less interest in educational/vocational options in which they were susceptible to stereotype threat (i.e., quantitative domains) and more interest in fields in which they were immune to stereotype threat (i.e., verbal domains).
  • Exposing participants to gender-stereotypic TV commercials designed to elicit the female stereotype, the present research explored whether vulnerability to stereotype threat could persuade women to avoid leadership roles in favor of nonthreatening subordinate roles. Study 1 confirmed that exposure to the stereotypic commercials undermined women's aspirations on a subsequent leadership task. Study 2 established that varying the identity safety of the leadership task moderated whether activation of the female stereotype mediated the effect of the commercials on women's aspirations. Creating an identity-safe environment eliminated vulnerability to stereotype threat despite exposure to threatening situational cues that primed stigmatized social identities and their corresponding stereotypes.
  • I honestly believe that advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
    • Jerry Della Femina, From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War (1970), p. 270
  • You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.


  • This study suggests that sex stereotypes implicitly enacted, but never explicitly articulated, in TV commercials may inhibit women's achievement aspirations. Men and women (N=180) viewed locally produced replicas of four current, sex-stereotyped commercials, or four replicas that were identical except that the sex roles were reversed, or (control) named their favorite TV programs. All subjects then wrote an essay imagining their lives “10 years from now.” The essays were coded for achievement and homemaking themes. Women who viewed traditional commercials deemphasized achievement in favor of homemaking, compared to men and compared to women who had seen reversed role commercials. The reversed role commercials eliminated the sex difference in net achievement focus. Control subjects were indistinguishable from their same-sex counterparts in the traditional condition. The results identified some social changes needed to make “equality of opportunity” a social reality for women as well as men.


  • Give them quality. That's the best kind of advertising in the world.
    • Milton Hershey. Interview with Abe Heilman, 1953. Paul Wallace Research Collection, Accession 97004, Box 2, Folder 24; Hershey Community Archives, Hershey, PA, USA.
  • Research on women in print advertisements has shown that pictures of women's bodies and body parts ("body-isms") appear more often than pictures of men's bodies. Men's faces ("face-isms") are photographed more often than their bodies. This present study is the first to confirm this finding for television commercials. Results showed that men appear twice as often as women in beer commercials. The body-isms of women significantly outnumbered the body-isms of men. Women also appeared in swimwear more often than men, thus increasing the photo opportunities for body-isms. This study raises concerns about the dehuman&ing influence of these images in beer commercials, and their association with alcohol use and the violence in the televised sporting events during which beer commercials are frequently aired.


  • For the next few months, I kept noticing ads that demeaned women in popular magazines as well as in The Lancet. Many of them ended up on my refrigerator. Some of them were outrageous. ("My boyfriend told me he loved me for my mind. I was never so insulted in my life," said a woman with a cigarette.) Many were demeaning, such as the adfor a "feminine hygiene" spray that said, "You don't sleep with teddy bears any more," implying that, although our teddy bears don't mind how we women smell, our boyfriends do. Somewere shockingly violent.
    I began to notice patterns and categories. I saw that women's bodies were often dismembered in ads-just legs or breasts or torsos were featured. I saw that women were often infantilized and that little girls were sexualized. ("You're a Halston woman from the very beginning," said a shampoo ad, featuring a girl of about five.) I bought a macrolens for my camera and turned the ads into slides. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them. I had begun my life's work.


  • Society drives people crazy with lust and calls it advertising.
  • The power of advertising to persuade, manipulate, and shape behavior has long been recognized. Bretl and Cantor (1988) estimated that the average American is exposed to over 37,000 advertisements each year through the medium of television alone. Whereas there has been considerable investigation of gender role portrayals in advertisements, comparatively little empirical attention has been paid to the portrayal of sexuality in advertisements.
  • This study examined whether exposure to TV ads that portray women as sex objects causes increased body dissatisfaction among women and men. Participants were exposed to 15 sexist and 5 nonsexist ads, 20 nonsexist ads, or a no ad control condition. Results revealed that women exposed to sexist ads judged their current body size as larger and revealed a larger discrepancy between their actual and ideal body sizes (preferring a thinner body) than women exposed to the nonsexist or no ad condition. Men exposed to the sexist ads judged their current body size as thinner, revealed a larger discrepancy between their actual and ideal body size (preferring a larger body), and revealed a larger discrepancy between their own ideal body size and their perceptions of others’ male body size preferences (believing that others preferred a larger ideal) than men exposed to the nonsexist or no ad condition. Discussion focuses on the cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral consequences of exposure to gender stereotypic television advertising.
  • This study was designed to examine the portrayal of women in advertisements in a general interest magazine (i.e., Time) and a women's fashion magazine (i.e., Vogue) over the last 50 years. The coding scheme used for this analysis was based on the one developed by sociologist Erving Goffman in the 1970s, which focuses primarily on the subtle and underlying clues in the picture content of advertisements that contain messages in terms of (stereotypical) gender roles. The results of this study show that, overall, advertisements in Vogue, a magazine geared toward a female audience, depict women more stereotypically than do those in Time, a magazine with the general public as a target audience. In addition, only a slight decrease in the stereotypical depiction of women was found over time, despite the influence of the Women's Movement.
  • She’s the quintessence of the horror behind the bright billboard. She’s the smile that tricks you into throwing away your money and your life. She’s the eyes that lead you on and on, and then show you death. She’s the creature you give everything for and never really get. She’s the being that takes everything you’ve got and gives nothing in return. When you yearn towards her face on the billboards, remember that. She’s the lure. She’s the bait. She’s the Girl.
    • Fritz Leiber, The Girl with the Hungry Eyes (1949) in the collection Night’s Black Agents
  • Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.


  • The present study extends existing research showing a link between images of women in advertisements and sexual attitudes. We examined also the impact of seeing sex image and progressive advertisements on attitudes toward feminism and the women's movement. Ninety-two undergraduate academic and technology white middle-class students were assigned to one of two conditions: rating either sex image or progressive advertisements. All participants then completed four subscales of M. R. Burt's [(1980) "Cultural Myths and Supports for Rape," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 38, pp. 217-230] Sexual Attitudes Survey and R. E. Fassinger's [(1994) "Development and Testing of the Attitudes Toward Feminism and the Women's Movement (FWM) Scale," Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 18, pp. 389-402] Feminism and Women's Movement Scale. Major findings include replication of previous data showing a relation between viewing sex image advertisements and reporting attitudes supportive of sexual aggression. Those seeing sex image advertisements also showed lower acceptance of feminism. It is suggested that continuous presentation of such advertisements undermines women's striving for equality.
  • Over the past five decades, gender-role portrayals in advertisements have changed in accord with the changing roles of women in society. In 1953, only 23.4% of women were in the labor force. At that time, advertisements typically portrayed women as objects of sexual gratification, or as spouses, homemakers, and mothers whose characteristics were passivity and dependence (Courtney & Lockeretz, 1971 in Belknap & Leonard 11, 1991) Four decades later, women's participation had doubled, to 60.7%. (Basset, 1994; Hughes, 1995). Women not only were gaining ground in marketplace participation, but also were filling positions once held primarily by men. As women began to enter the workforce, the image of the ideal woman began to be transformed. Changing demographic, economic and social patterns, encouraged a resurgence of feminist groups who focused public attention on the portrayal of women in media (Sullivan & O'Connor, 1988). Women in advertisements became central characters (Belknap & Leonard, 1991); they were portrayed as working outside the home, in nontraditional, progressive occupations. In contemporary advertisements, increasingly women are presented in professional roles requiring decision making on items and topics other than household, hygiene or beauty products, and sometimes they are portrayed as autonomous and equal to their male counterparts.
    Coinciding with this reduction in the portrayal of women in traditional homemaker and mother roles, has been a 60% increase in advertisements in which women are portrayed in purely decorative roles (Sullivan & O'Connor, 1982).
  • It is impossible to understand the American public without taking into account the tremendous psychological effect of bringing up a generation of people in a daily environment of advertising. It is impossible to escape the advertising man; his sales talk assaults us in the morning newspaper, in the street car, with billboards along the highways, and in his shameless use of the radio. This means that from morning till night, in the midst of our work as in our recreation, we live constantly in an atmosphere of intellectual shoddiness. Every popular prejudice and vulgar conceit is played upon and pandered to in the interests of salesmanship. Everywhere material interests and herd opinion are strengthened to the loss of personal independence. The tendency is to think and speak for effect rather than out of one's inner life. There is a marked decline the ability to play with ideas, or to live the spiritual life for its own sake. Hence a decline in civilization of interest, humor and urbanity. Advertising tends to make mechanized barbarians of us all.
    • Everett Dean Martin, The Conflict of the Individual and the Mass in the Modern World (1932), pp. 29-30
  • Ads are the cave art of the twentieth century.
    • Marshall McLuhan quoted by Douglas Coupland, Extraordinary Canadians: Marshall McLuhan (aka: Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work! (2010), p. 113) and also in W. Terence Gordon McLuhan: A Guide for the Perplexed, p. 78, thus: "In Culture Is Our Business McLuhan identifies advertising as the cave art of the twentieth century…". This idea is most closely express by McLuhan in Culture Is Our Business (1970) thus: "The cave art of Madison Avenue has been by far the most innovative and educative art form of the twentieth century." (p. 48)
  • They deny good luck, love, power, romance, and inspiration
    From La Jac Brite ointment and incense of all kinds,
    And condemn in writing skin brightening and whitening
    and whitening of minds.

    There is upon the federal trade commission a burden of glory
    So to defend the fact, so to impel
    The plucking of hope from the hand, honor from the complexion,
    Sprite from the spell.

    • Josephine Miles, "Government Injunction Restraining Harlem Cosmetic Co." (1941) St. 2–3; Collected Poems, University of Illinois Press, 1983


  • The rich philistinism emanating from advertisements is due not to their exaggerating (or inventing) the glory of this or that serviceable article but to suggesting that the acme of human happiness is purchasable and that its purchase somehow ennobles the purchaser.
    • Vladimir Nabokov, “Philistines and Philistinism,” Lectures on Russian Literature.
  • Are you sensitive? Are you easily hurt? Do you take adverse criticism to heart? Do you sometimes feel that life is passing you by? That the other man gets more out of life than you do? You do? Good. Well, keep it up. That's why we in advertising make so much money... LEGAL. DECENT. HONEST. TRUTHFUL... Are you those things too? Oh goody, better and better! Yum, yum, yum.


  • By saturating the public domain with false sincerity, advertising makes genuine sincerity more difficult.
    • Avner Offer, The Challenge of Affluence (2006), p. 359.


  • Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.
  • Advertising reaches out to touch the fantasy part of people's lives. And you know, most people's fantasies are pretty sad.
  • Living in age of advertisement, we are perpetually disillusioned. The perfect life is spread before us every day, but it changes and withers at a touch.
  • It is never silent, it drowns out all other voices, and it suffers no rebuke, for is it not the voice of America? [...]
    It has taught us how to live, what to be afraid of, how to be beautiful, how to be loved, how to be envied, how to be successful. ...
    Is it any wonder that the American population tends increasingly to speak, think, feel in terms of this jabberwocky? That the stimuli of art, science, religion are progressively expelled to the periphery of American life to become marginal values, cultivated by marginal people on marginal time?
    • James Rorty, Our Master's Voice: Advertising (New York: John Day, 1934); pages 32-33, 70-72, 270.
  • The Federal Radio Commission has interpreted the concept of public interest so as to favor in actual practice one particular group … the commercial broadcasters.


  • The notion that ads convey meaning about gender without viewers’ awareness is not new. In his influential Gender Advertisements, Goffman (1979) argued that advertisements symbolically reflect social-cultural constructions of gender through displays of posture, positioning, facial expressions, and social roles: Sitting at a man’s feet (ritualized subordination), gazing off absently (licensed withdrawal), or gently caressing an object (feminine touch) all demonstrate women’s inferior status. According to Goffman, however, we fail to recognize the sexism in these images precisely because they reflect our unexamined assumptions about gender. Nonetheless, these gender displays allegedly perpetuate sexist stereotypes. Despite the complete lack of empirical evidence showing that these images promote sexist beliefs or attitudes, Goffman’s analysis is widely accepted by scholars, who regularly employ his taxonomy of gender displays to establish the prevalence of sexism in the media (e.g., Belknap & Leonard, 1991; Kang, 1997; Krassas, Blauwkamp, & Wesselink, 2003; Lindner, 2004; Millard & Grant, 2006; Plous & Neptune, 1997).
  • In sum, there is clear support for the prediction that ads with latent sexism produce greater acceptance of sexual assault compared with nonsexist ads. There is also evidence that the effects of latent sexism on acceptance of sexual assault and minimization of sexual coercion are distinct from the effects of overt sexism. Yet, because the ads in the latent, overt, and no sexism conditions differed in ways other than the type of sexist content, the internal validity of the ad effects remains a concern.
  • advertising [...] makes you spend money you haven't got for things you don't want.
    • Will Rogers, as the Connecticut Yankee Hank Morgan / Sir Boss in the 1931 film A Connecticut Yankee (after Mark Twain). Cf. Ivan G. Shreve Jr: Thrilling days of yesteryear Also quoted in Printers' Ink magazine, volume 156, issue 1 (1931), p. 3 and Advertising Outdoors Vol. 2, No. 8 (August 1931), p. 19, [2] = [3]
  • In Australia, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission specifically lists the display of pin-ups as an example of sexually harassing behaviour. While sexual harassment legislation in both Australia and the United States covers sites including workplaces and educational institutions, such legislation has not been designed to include sexual harassment occurring in public space. This article will explore the reality that outdoor advertisements on public display are visually very similar to sexually harassing pin-ups, as will be demonstrated through references to examples collected as part of a year long study of outdoor advertising in Melbourne, Australia. Because of the visual similarities between outdoor advertising and, for example, pin-ups which are prohibited in sites such as workplaces, this article suggests that both media should be critiqued in the exact same manner. This article argues that the specific elements that make sexual harassment inappropriate in the workplace – i.e., the captive environment that is created whereby exposure to sexual images is unavoidable – is a situation replicated in public space with a person utilising space being held captive in a similar manner. Similarly, this article will explore the manner in which pin-ups masculinise a workplace in the same way that sexist outdoor advertisements masculinise public space. The usefulness, limitations and feasibility of the application of sexual harassment discussions to sexist outdoor advertisements will also be considered.
  • This study examines the way female and male models are portrayed in magazine advertisements. Specifically. we focus on differences in sex role stereotyping, sexual display of the body, and violent imagery. Data were collected from a stratitied random sample of magazines displaying fashion and fitness advertisements (N = 254). Findings from he analysis show that females are more likely than males to be placed in submissive positions, sexually displayed, and subjects of violent imagery. Sexual display and violent imagery measures are the strongest predictors of subjective level of exploitation.


  • There are huge advertising budgets only when there's no difference between the products. If the products really were different, people would buy the one that's better. Advertising teaches people not to trust their judgment. Advertising teaches people to be stupid.
  • Women who were exposed to advertisements that portrayed women in their traditional role as homemakers reported less favorable attitudes toward political participation than women who were not exposed to advertisements. Exposure to portrayals of women as sex objects, on the other hand, did not affect women's attitudes. In contrast, men reported less favorable attitudes toward political participation after exposure to advertisements that portrayed women as sex objects, but were not affected by portrayals of women as homemakers. Implications for the influence of sex roles on political participation and the impact of sexist advertisements are discussed.
  • Advertising has sometimes been depicted as simply another cost added on to the cost of producing goods and services. However, in so far as advertising causes more of the advertised product to be sold, economies of scale can reduce production costs, so that the same product may cost less when it is advertised, rather than more. Advertising itself of course has costs, both in the financial sense and in the sense of using resources. But it is an empirical question, rather than a foregone conclusion, whether the costs of advertising are greater or less than the reductions of production costs made possible by the economies of scale which it promotes. This can obviously vary from one firm or industry to another.
    • Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics (2010), Ch. 6. The Role of Profits— and Losses



  • Two matched series of TV commercials served as stimuli in a study with 52 female undergraduates. One series consisted of 4 replicas of current network commercials. The other series consisted of the same 4 commercials, identical in every respect except that each of the roles in the scenario was portrayed by a person of the opposite sex. Ss viewed either the traditional or reversed-role series. Those exposed to the nontraditional versions showed more independence of judgment in an Asch-type conformity test and displayed greater self-confidence when delivering a speech, thus supporting the hypothesis that commercials function as social cues to trigger and reinforce sex role stereotypes. Findings suggest that repeated exposure to nonstereotypic commercials might help produce positive and lasting behavioral changes in women. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, and the trouble is I don't know which half.
    • John Wanamaker. Quoted in David Ogilvy's Confessions of an Advertising Man, Ch. 3, 1963. [Wanamaker here paraphrasing the 1st Lord Leverhulme].
  • Between a poem by Valéry and an advertisement for a beauty cream promising a rich marriage to anyone who used it there was at no point a breach of continuity. So as a result of literature’s spiritual usurpation a beauty cream advertisement possessed, in the eyes of little village girls, the authority that was formerly attached to the words of priests.
    • Simone Weil, “Morality and literature,” On Science, Necessity, and the Love of God, R. Rees, trans. (1968), p. 164.
  • Jason Lynch: What did the advertising industry think of the show?
Matthew Weiner: I would hear two things. Number one: "You're making our job very hard because every client is coming in and is expecting an emotional sales pitch, which is not what we do anymore. "And then I was hearing, "He's so good and it's so short!" And I would say, "It's rigged! I'm writing the clients as well." (laughs) I'm deciding if he's successful. If you go in and try that domineering attitude he takes in the episode where he's like, "Do you believe in Jesus or not?" If you try that in real life, I'm pretty sure you will lose the client, and get fired!
  • Jason Lynch: How has the experience of making Mad Men changed your view of advertising now?
Matthew Weiner: It's hard for people to remember, but when we went on the air, advertising was in a deep crisis. And it got even worse. We went on in 2007, and just imagine, a year and a half after we go on the air, there's no car advertising because this gigantic recession has happened. And combine that with the internet and everything else, and people are scrambling, figuring out how to even get a message to anyone. And what I see now, is that the public's appetite for advertising—and especially the next generation—it's insatiable. And they don't even seem to see it as a nuisance or any of the things we talked about on the show. As a consumer, I feel like there was an effort made to make things more interesting. And there was a whole school of advertising that was fighting the DVR. If you look at the Target ads, there's a whole school of advertising that is short and sweet and one-joke, like Geico. So I've seen it change. Some of it feels retro to me and some of it doesn't.
But I see that the industry did respond to the technology. I guess what I'm most interested in is, and the entertainment industry is in the same shape: How do you stand out in this marketplace? And it's so wide open and so, as we know from the election, at least bifurcated, but even more individual than that … this is not a technological issue anymore, this is a creative issue. I can say that for the most part, there are people rising to that problem. I see more interesting creative than I did when we went on the air. Though I don't know if it's working! [One thing we learned from working on the show is that] a great creative ad does not necessarily sell anything.


Asked about the new developments, a Fox News spokeswoman re-sent a statement from earlier in the week by president of ad sales Marianne Gambelli which said the “ad in question is full of disgraceful Nazi imagery regardless of the film’s message and did not meet our guidelines.” ~ Steven Zeitchik
  • "We decided to dig deep and pay for television ads we weren't planning to buy because we wanted to make the point that Fox News is out of the mainstream," the movie's director, Marshall Curry, told The Post, adding that he believed the network's rejection of the ad was politically motivated. "It says something that some news channels trust their audience to interpret American history while Fox distrusts its audience and doesn't think it can do that."
    A spokesman for MSNBC said the company initially rejected the ad because an NBC UNiversal standards group deemed the content too provocative. But the group then gave the filmmakers notes on potential changes that would make the ad acceptable for its airwaves, particularly saying the ad would need context before diving into the Nazi footage. The filmmakers returned with a version that included a title card explaining this was part of an Oscar-nominated film.
    "We wanted to make sure viewers had full understanding and appropriate context of this ad. And the filmmakers were open to feedback to make a change," the spokesman, Joe Benarroch, told The Post. A CNN spokeswoman did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
    Asked about the new developments, a Fox News spokeswoman re-sent a statement from earlier in the week by president of ad sales Marianne Gambelli which said the “ad in question is full of disgraceful Nazi imagery regardless of the film’s message and did not meet our guidelines.”

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