Hvorfor denne modvilje? Jo, fordi reklamer – hvor uskyldige de end enkeltvis kan virke – i det enorme omfang, som vi bombarderes med dem i vort samfund, udøver en voldsom indflydelse på, hvordan vi tænker og føler om ting. En isoleret reklame kan være nok så uskadelig og også let at "gennemskue" som sådan, men når man uden at være det bevidst (og dermed uden at have sine mentale "parader" oppe) de første par tusinde gange (og det sker overraskende hurtigt i vores samfund!) har lært at associere produkt X med glade, smilende, succesfulde mennesker, så påvirker det unægtelig ens dømmeevne på et mindre bevidst plan, idet vores hjerne fungerer således, at de positive følelser vi har ang. de glade, smilende, succesfulde mennesker så at sige "smitter af" på produktet, med hvilket de associeres.
Kathleen Taylor skriver i sin bog Brainwashing følgende:
Brainwashing in fiction is often depicted as a coercive torture, but its conceptual heart, the deliberate and manipulative changing of belief, need not require force. Advertising is not coercive, but it is a deliberate attempt to change minds. Companies do not promote their products by accident, and their aim is primarily to increase profits by removing money from customers. Frequently companies will claim to have identified needs for their products, and to be simply supplying those needs. Who could deny that needs ought to be fulfilled?Og ud over denne indirekte, gradvise massetildannelse af folks mentale landskaber, så er der selvfølgelig også det langt mere direkte problem, at kommunale instanser, der accepterer at udleje kommunal plads til reklamer, bringes i et direkte afhængighedsforhold til det private erhvervsliv, der kan kompromittere deres uvildighed og frihed til at handle på den måde, der tjener folket bedst, hvis f.eks. en kommunal handling ville stride mod en hovedannoncørs interesser.
Yet we should be sceptical of this explosion in consumer needs. The ability of our brains to associate powerful emotions with abstract ideas means that it is relatively easy to associate a product with a basic desire. The need is not for the product particularly, it is for the fulfilment of the basic desire; but we accept the product as a proxy (and then wonder why, when we get it home, we may feel vaguely disappointed). A traditional example, rarer now in mainstream advertising, is the sales technique which promotes certain cars by draping semi-naked females across their bonnets (the target audience was assumed to be male and heterosexual). Cars are machines for transporting one comfortably and conveniently from A to B; most are really quite similar in design and construction. Having an attractive woman sprawled across the front could scratch the paintwork and would do nothing for the aerodynamics even if she took all her clothes off. Not that the eager buyer was likely actually to find such a vision in his local showroom. Rather, the advertisers assumed that their customers would associate one particular lump of metal and plastic with sexual desire. The implication is clear: buying this product will satisfy that desire and improve your sex life. [...]
Those who describe advertising as brainwashing, however, are not usually intent on singling out particular adverts. Rather they deplore the cumulative effect on our cultural environment of a large number of adverts over a period of time. The same argument is made about violence in television, cinema and the news media. No single gory murder may be responsible for desensitizing modern youth, no single sugary advert for rendering it increasingly overweight, but the net impact of visual violence can be considerable. Is this a valid claim?
There is in fact considerable evidence that mass media models of the world we live in have a significant impact on us. These portrayals of 'real life'—which may, like a cultist's view of reality, bear little resemblance to the real thing—can shape our behaviour in ways we may not recognize. Studies in Britain and the United States, for example, consistently show a fear of crime which is out of proportion to the actual risks of being a victim, but which reflects the proportion of attention devoted by the media to crime. Television shows provide extremely distorted versions of reality. As Pratkanis and Aronson point out in The Age of Propaganda, in the world of television beautiful people are much more common that in real life, as are doctors and lawyers, while positive role models of scientists, the elderly, the disabled, or ethnic minorities are much less common. We all think we know it's not real, yet US studies have clearly shown that people who watch more television have a more distorted, racist world view than those who watch less. Television can affect behaviour as well as attitudes.
[...] No, what bothers the critics seems to be the idea that the environmental effects of advertising and the media are shaping our minds in subtle ways which we do not recognize. We can select any one of hundreds of magazines from our local supermarket—yet we rarely stop to ask why all those magazines contain so much about sex and physical attractiveness, why the faces on the covers are so unrepresentative of the readers, why certain topics are covered in detail and others completely ignored. Someone makes those decisions, and makes them with profits in mind, but it certainly isn't us.
(Taylor, Kathleen, Brainwashing – the science of thought control, p. 53-54)
Af disse, og flere andre grunde, som jeg ikke vil trætte dig med her, er bagmændene bag denne civile ulydighedsaktion, at betragte som helte, der kæmper en ulige kamp for at slå enkelte skår i storkapitalens enorme indflydelse over almindelige menneskers sind. Værsgo' og nyd aktionen herunder, og overvej så næste gang, du kommer forbi en reklame med en perfekt fotomodel, om den egentlig gør dig lykkelig eller det modsatte?