What if there was no advertising or marketing in society?

What if there were no ads or marketing any more? What would happen to society if we had no billboards, no TV or Radio ads, no telemarketers, no spam, no flyers/junk mail, no “special promotions”?

Would the economy tank? Who would lose? Who would win?

I should add, there would still be signs on stores, people could have websites, labels on products etc. just no marketing initiatives outside of their “front door” so to speak.

Still not sure how this would work. Would a soup merchant be allowed to put a picture of his nutritious and great tasting product on the soup cans? Would he be allowed to display the name of the highly-respected company that makes this superior product? Would he be allowed in any fashion to suggest that his product is different than others that it might be confused with?

More seriously, one purpose of advertising is to let potential buyers know about (selected features of) the product they’re considering. It is an awfully fuzzy line between that and outright hyperbole, but where would the line be placed?

Still not clear what you’re proposing to regulate.

Your’re right, many things would be really difficult. Its hard to pin down, but my main beef is getting flyers at home, being assaulted by Telemarketers at home, the barrage of spam in my email as well as those annoying “pop up” ads, ads on radios, and the ads on television that have nothing to do with other television shows and telemarketers phoning me at home or the office.

Could be considered banning “unsolicited, unfocused, out of context advertising and promotion”.

I mean, obviously if you dont like pop ups and spam, dont go on the internet, dont like TV ads, dont watch tv, fed up with telemarketers? Lose your phone…dont like billboards?..become blind. Dont like radio ads? Become a deaf person.

Is it a violation of my rights as a person to be bombarded with manipulative propeganda in a free society?

I would have starved to death 30 years ago. I have spent my entire adult life in the media – radio, television and newspaper.

<happy, wistful sigh>

Sorry, I can’t even speculate. I’m just enjoying the fantasy.

Just doing flyers and ads? Im assuming those kinds of media would have found another means to stay viable, but if you did nothing but ads…seems sad to me. I can only hope you possibly did news or something useful for society in all that time.

Read The Merchant’s War by Frederick Pohl. It’s the long-delayed sequel to the classic SF novel the Space Merchants by Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. The original novel describes a future virtually overrun by advertising, far more than we have today. The sequel describes the polar opposite – a society swet up on a colony world (Venus, with massive terraforming) in which advertising is downright outlawed. The hero – an ad executive – is the same in both books, and in the sequel he constantly years to “punch up” the signs around hinm, which strive to be overly truthful in their desire to avoid fraudulent advertising.