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Stop Trashing Advertising
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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One group of people we cannot stand working with are complainers. People who complain for the sake of complaining make no endeavor fun or interesting. Instead of looking for a solution to the problem at hand, they let the problem wash over them and drown everyone else with them in their misery. Worse still is when complainers who have no solid solution are given a platform to spurt their simple understandings.

These are the people attacking advertising and what it stands for. The loudest ones have the least amount of knowledge about our consumption-based economy (or at least, sound like they do), and add on to the negative press that advertising is prone to.

The latest loudmouth comes from an article on PolicyMic, which talks about how advertising is polluting our environment and damaging brains.

We understand how easy of a target advertising is for the media, politicians, and to those who believe that Big Business is manipulating and controlling your spending habits. If the truth was out that people have every sense of control over what they see, hear, and obey, it would make the "brain trash" argument irrelevant.

Listen, our economy is now dependent on how consumers spend, and how much, and how often. We're not saying that we like it either, but that is just the way it is. Advertising helps businesses get their messages to those who are most likely to spend. Ads are placed in the places those people are most likely to see the messages.

If you want to change how advertising works in our society, here are a couple a ways to do so. First, don't fight advertising with advertising. You say you hate it, then engage in the very same activities? That's insulting. Second, instead of calling on everyone to talk about how advertising is everywhere, and want the business to change its activities on its own, why don't you support those businesses that engage in advertising practices that you agree with? Showing support to a business that is doing good in your eyes will force more change on other businesses than raining disapproval and condemnation. Ignore the brands that do "trash advertising" and mobilize folks to do the same. 

Third, change your own advertising consumption. For example, everyone hates election season because of the ads, especially the negative ones. Guess what? Research shows that negative ads work the best on voters. Findings are already out about this year's negative ads and how they best the positive ones. If you want to stop seeing negative ads, respond better to the positive ones.

We agree with the overall premise that advertising can do better, and should. But to throw all the blame on brands and AdLand is an oversimplification of an issue that needs to be addressed.

picture: funnyjunk.com

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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