Mat Van Den Art's Blog

2.2 Problem Identification

Posted in MDes Dissertation by matvandenart on August 11, 2010

Che Guevara wrote: The laws of capitalism, which are blind and are invisible to ordinary people, act upon the individual without he or she being aware of it. One sees only the vastness of a seemingly infinite horizon ahead. That is how it is painted by capitalist propagandists who purport to draw a lesson from the example of Rockefeller — whether or not it is true — about the possibilities of individual success. The amount of poverty and suffering required for a Rockefeller to emerge, and the amount of depravity entailed in the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible for the popular forces to expose this clearly … It is a contest among wolves. One can win only at the cost of the failure of others.16

According to Tony Yeshin a marketing communication publicist the “Advertising is paid-for, non-personal communication from an identified organization, body or individual designed to communicate information and to influence consumer behaviour”.17

Advertising in liberal capitalistic society does not recognize any moral authority. Current marketing strategies try to operate only within the limits of given judiciary system. Our society has grown used to seeing marketing communication strategies to use, exploit and scorn socially sensitive realities, manipulate general consumer behaviour and advocate often senseless products or ideas with the only aim to create new demand.

Video 9 )

Advertisement does not try to provide it’s viewers, readers or listeners with the objective facts but rather it intended to persuade its audience of the utopian view on the subject of the advertisement it advocates for. In the consumer society, advertising is the right instrument to bring demand from the consumer goods into the conditions and requirements of the productive system.18

Today’s advertising is the key to funding and sustaining the mass media in developed societies. Advertising by purpose is designed to affect peoples behaviour and opinion rather than to sell something specific.19 The state when a mass communication medium trusted by its audience to broadcast objective information becomes financially reliant on the subjective natured form of communication – advertising, the problem of conflict of public interest, censorship or corruption is very likely to occur.

Privately owned mass media recent coverage of events including global recession, outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries, retraction of manufacturing, expensive war, abolishment of bank laws, domestic economic growth reliant on financial sector, has only scratched the surface of the problem never dwelling too deep to upset advertisers’ financial interests. In spite of the fact all these problems play vital roles in the greatest economic challenge of the 21st century western society has yet to broadly acknowledge and overcome. We are Pavlov’s dogs – the gong rings and the saliva flows. It is a dangerous illusion that distracts us from the dealing with the deeper problems.20

Video 10 )

Al Gore, fromer American vice-president argues the television suppressed participatory communication turning citizens into the members of an audience with an one way form of communication. The web allows people to express themselves to receive ideas, discuss them with others, reflect on them and then come up what seem to them better idea.21

Mass communication media dependency on advertisement funding and the subsequent lack of believable objectivity has accelerated evolution of the new forms of information sharing where communication no more relies on one-to-many form of information broadcasting. Social networks and blogs, independent from the advertisement funding, operating in the realm of non-censored Internet networks pioneered new form of communication, where one-to-many model of communication has been replaced by many-to-many approach.

Video 11 )

Predetermination of advertisement purpose, advocating the interests of few rich over the interests of many and its moral inability to distinguish between right and wrong glorifying only the laws and forces of financial and stock markets have convinced us, we can continue to consume disproportionate share of global resources and charge it to the credit cards without paying the consequences.22

We are living a lie. We have created a veil that hides the fatal cancer beneath the surface. Unfortunately the capitalistic economic model reliant on mass consumerism convinced great many of us not to want to look behind the veil. Political and business leaders have encouraged us to stay on course too often we have fallen back on old platitudes we have accepted the cancer the mutant virus of predatory capitalism as a norm.23



16) Che Guevara. From Algiers, for Marcha . The Cuban Revolution Today. Ocean Press; 1965.

17) Yeshin, T. Advertising. London: Thomson Learning; 2006.

18) Yeshin, T. Advertising. London: Thomson Learning; 2006.

19) Yeshin, T. Advertising. London: Thomson Learning; 2006.

20) John Perkins. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man . New York (NY): Crown Business ; 2005.

21) Al Gore. A sharing society [podcast on the Internet]. Open University; BBC; 2010 Jan 8 [cited 2010 July 4]. Available from

22) John Perkins. Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded–and What We Need to Do to Remake Them. New York (NY): Crown Business ; 2009.

23) John Perkins. Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded–and What We Need to Do to Remake Them. New York (NY): Crown Business ; 2009.

Video 9 ) McDonalds Commercial.. McDonaldsAllAmerican; 2010 Feb[cited 2010 July 25]. Available from:

Video 10 ) John Perkins. Author. The confessions of an economic HITMAN .AlJazeera; 2009 Oct[cited 2010 July 25]. Available from:

Video 11 ) Paul Levinson. Author. Alcove Podcast . Alcove; 2007 Nov [cited 2010 July 25]. Available from:


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  1. Content « Mat Van Den Art's Blog said, on August 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    […] 2.2    Problem Identification […]

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