I need to interrupt this weekend’s discussion of porn with major financial news: The multibillion advertising industry has collapsed after researchers declared they could find no causal link between ads and human behavior.
Consider the beauty and fashion industry. If an ad showed a gorgeous, sexy, young, slim woman wearing a certain brand of clothing, it was assumed that some women might want to buy that brand. If the company offered wide-leg pants in chartreuse one year, and the next year, showed straight-leg, cropped pants in royal blue, and fashion articles declared that big, chartreuse pants were boring, but slim, blue pants were daring and feminine, it was assumed that women would want the thing that was new and exciting.
“Some women feel a strong urge to wear slim, blue pants,” one social scientist said. “Perhaps this reflects this year’s marketing, or maybe it simply reflects the desires of women. We cannot and should not make any assumptions.
“We have found no link between what people hear, see and read and how they think and behave. Advertising is a huge waste of money.”
Some say ads encourage consumerism, and that some people spend so much that they end up bankrupt or they can’t save for their retirement.
“Some people are criminals, and some people are spenders,” the researcher responded. “But you can’t put any blame on advertising. In fact, we have learned that countries with the most advertising have the lowest levels of consumption. Take, for example, the TV ads depicting a sports car speeding through dangerous curves. This thrills a lot of guys, but their fantasies are so satisfying that they have little need to do this in real life.”
At first, advertising executives dismissed these findings, but they gave up when the researcher assured them that all the good research supports him.