There is a name for what advertising agencies do – rubbish – and our predecessors appreciated much better than us its ultimate destination: ruin!

Almost all of what advertising agencies do is best summed up in one word – parasitical. By creating advertising out of thin air we have reduced the purchasing power of more deserving members of society. What would happen if everybody behaved just like advertising agencies?

Marketing and Advertising is a classic example of the term “the fallacy of managerial expertise”,an attempt by “experts” to blind us with science to justify their overpaid existence.

The “experts” will tell us that the present advertising and marketing crisis are simply the result of abuses and excesses in a system that is basically sound. All that is required is for some faults to be corrected. Do not believe them! The reality is that the problem is systemic and a little tinkering here or there will achieve nothing in the long term.

What is needed is a root-and-branch re-evaluation of that most curious of inventions – marketing and advertising, and how it can be used to serve the interests of the community. To start with the “experts” must explain in the simplest terms how advertising actually works – together with supporting evidence!
The truth is that advertising and marketing have not suddenly become useless but that they were never really useful in the first place!

Yet it is a fact that that the key to understanding how international marketing and advertising operates and why the world is in such a mess – is discussed virtually nowhere in mainstream circles.

The picture has become a great deal more complicated, the huge problem of clutter, otherwise known as “meaningless noise”. Together with the gibberish that has become the new marketing speak, IT jargon...utterly meaningless and as far away from “communication” than ever before. And still no one has produced one iota of real evidence that advertising works at all!

The role of advertising has been diverted by new “experts” to media buying, sales promotion, computer speak, direct marketing – but in essence they are mere variations of the same basic three-card trick! With the advent of the PC all sorts of marketing emerges, again devised by those same “experts” who did not know what they were doing from the beginning. Moreover, the illusion becomes self-reinforcing. Those involved in the process sitting behind their computer screens, no longer control the beast they have created.

Advertising breeds more advertising and the only people who win, in fact the only people who have ever won, are the media owners which is precisely why the media owners desperately do not want the system to change! But the system relies entirely, as do all Ponzi schemes, on two assumptions, 1) That advertising works, and 2) the assumption of continued growth, hence its inherent instability. Once that growth is threatened the whole edifice collapses.

Marketing...a very simple and devastatingly effective swindle, but largely invisible because it has become so deeply embedded in our culture. The consequences of that swindle – the desperate need for economic growth together with the environmental and cultural despoliation it engenders – require some radical thinking that one encounters nowhere in any of our Business Schools...or elsewhere for that matter!

OK, so some people have question my assumption (?) that advertising doesn't work, fortunately there is enough evidence supporting my claims and I will commence to detail that evidence in future articles.
For example:June 2005 issue of Harvard Business Review reporting on the effectiveness of 500 various consumer and B2B marketing programs:
84% resulted in less market share, not more Most customer acquisition efforts did not break even
Fewer than 10% of new products succeeded Most sales promotions were unprofitable
Advertising ROI was below 4% Doubling advertising expenditures for established products increased sales just 1% - 2%

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In it you will discover why we need interactive communication, properly executed, together with supporting independent research.
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