Over the course of the last 100 years from print media to smart phones we collectively have been part of a new human interaction regarding trade. Historically, people would go to a shop evaluate the products and select what appeared to be the products they needed. At the start at least 100 years ago catalog purchasing became a “thing” in which production could be done in mass and products sold to broader markets. This was standard practice for many companies (Sears is probably the most prominent example). Within those catalogs manufactures would pay for the amount of page space they had which directly correlates to the the way news paper advertising would also work in the same time frame.
People didn’t buy news papers to be advertised to but it was a method that companies could share the ideas of their products with a broader audience to “hopefully” increase sales.
With the inception of variable media platforms over the decades the methodology of advertising has changed. Primarily television in the mid 1900’s through the year 2000 in which the big shift to the all connecting internet occurred.
The shift from print and television static media advertising broke the system. The rules of engagement were thrown out the window and what we are left with today is online advertising without the right regulation. Advertising that props up systems that are proven to be counter productive on society is commonplace (think Facebook and no, I’m not digging up the dozens of scholarly sources that prove with hard evidence the damage that company has caused). Today’s most popular advertising methods include discrete messaging via paid comments and reviews, falsifying a sense of community support for specific products to attempt to have a popular opinion that supports whatever is being advertised. In support of this broken system, the online systems that guarantee viewers will see the advertising are continually falsely propped up in favor of continuing the advertising methods that have such a massive reach.
Currently, Amazon has been the next biggest interruption in this space. When a vast amount of people throughout the globe buy their goods from one source and do so based on internal system ratings (customer reviews) it completely destroys the need for advertising as the only true competition for ALL business owners in the United States is with Amazon and if they can or can’t make a profit by selling through Amazon. I recently had this discussion with a high level marketing manager with REI who shared some of these woes with me regarding essentially being forced out of business if they couldn’t make arrangements with Amazon.
The constant push by the advertising industry to ensure they can deliver a promise to business owners has resulted in unethical actions that support systems of global reach with the sole intention of capturing the individuals attention and convince them to buy a product. Facebook, Amazon, Google and even Apple have found ways to evaluate what THEY think you want and promote those items in places you have to see while using those tools. Advertisers convince business owners that this is the most effective method and we as people swallow it hook line and sinker without question.
We need an interruption in this space, we are all connected now, all online, why don’t we join together to push back against this system that is not in our best interest?