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A new campaigning group
Advertising works. The best evidence that it does is its existence: if ads had no effect, the world’s biggest companies would be wasting billions of pounds every year. But advertising does more than just persuade us to buy products. Taken together, its competing messages do real – if unintended – harm.
Advertising touches almost every area of our waking lives. It helps defines us as consumers: everything we do becomes an opportunity to make a sale. Over time, we become less able to express other important qualities of our characters.
If only it were that simple. First, advertising is harder to avoid than ever, avoiding advertising is almost impossible. Second – and perhaps more important – psychological research suggests advertising moulds our culture and motivations. Try as we might to ignore it, advertising will still affect us – both through unconscious exposure and by moulding our cultural environment.
Most of us like to consider ourselves fairly rational decision-makers most of the time. But human beings are not mere information-processors, choosing what to take in and what to ignore. To imagine we are is to contradict decades of psychological research.
AdBrake is a new, open and participative campaigning organisation working to push back against the steady creep of advertising into our lives. We don’t oppose all advertising, but we know there is more to life than consuming. People should defined by who they are, not what they buy.
AdBrake works to make people aware of advertising’s effects, help people limit advertising’s impact on their lives and better regulate the advertising industry.
Taking on the propaganda arm of the corporate world is a big task, and no-one can do it single-handed. That’s why we want you to help us. We need local groups and campaign hubs, all taking action in their own areas; social media activists spreading the word and sharing tips on what works.
Together, we can work to ensure that advertising is better regulated, less intrusive and has less of an impact on our lives. We are not simply consumers, we are people and we want to be treated that way.