Saturday, 31 March 2012

Adverts - polluting our mental environment

Before I say another word I need to apologise,  make a plea - and a promise.

The apology is simple and heartfelt. You may have noticed that there are now some adverts on this 'blog - adverts which serve to pollute your mental environment. I hope you'll forgive me: of course they are there as a way of generating some revenue from this site, effectively buying me the time to keep writing it.

Of course that's no real excuse, and I hope I'll find a better way soon. I'm sorry.

The great French philosopher Michel Serres (pictured) has described adverts as analogous to dog-piss - as the pollutant corporations use to mark their territory. It's an interesting argument, and one that sits neatly alongside the work of others who have suggested our very minds are being colonised by the advertising industry. Look at the Olympic Torch relay, for example: when it comes to Brighton it won't only be drawing attention to the wonderful people chosen to carry it, or the Olympic ideal, it'll be making sure the logo of Coco-Cola, Samsung and Lloyds-TSB, three particularly unsavoury corporations, are metaphorically 'sprayed' on every street corner the torch passes.

So, here's the promise: I'll make sure that I use this 'blog, as best I can, to shine a spotlight on the advertising industry's role in society, at least here in Brighton, and hopefully provide (however quiet a one) a voice arguing that we should prevent the further colonisation of our public spasce by those who just want us to buy more stuff.


  1. a tad over simplified. Adverts can be both entertaining and informative; though the subliminal message is always there. Seems like another anti private enterprise diatribe. Having worked in private enterprise all my life I have a good grasp of weak points and good points and believe it is best tackled by the German Social Market Model - are the Greens promoting this? Both communism and socialism are abject failures.
    As for the Olympics it for been for many years a commercial obscenity far removed from the original ideal. All corporations care about the bottom line and none more unsavory than hip cool Apple.

  2. Visited East Berlin in 1973 to visit an elderly relative; boy, could have done with some adverts to 'pollute my mental environment', grey, drab depressing. The only relief if you can call it that was being followed by a female member of the Stasi, blond and wearing a tight leather jacket; resistance was futile :}

    No, what pollutes my mental environment the most is the muddled thinking of others.