Wednesday, March 02, 2011


While I am sure there are Americans who consume fewer advertisements than I do, I'm sure there aren't too many. I don't watch TV or listen to commercial radio, I don't get the print versions of any magazines or newspapers and when I use the internet I use AdBlock, which pretty much means I see no online ads. I walk past a couple of billboards on my way to work, but they are in German, and generally for products or services I don't recognize, so I'm not sure I could be said to have consumed. Further, my opinion of the advertising industry hovers between my opinions of the fashion industry (inherently ridiculous and basically harmful) and the tobacco industry (murder for profit).

It therefore strikes me as somewhat ironic that most of my time this week seems to be consumed with advertising. I am advertising positions available and a summer course in evolutionary demography we will teach here at the Institute. So I write ads, consider how best to appeal to my target audiences, edit them, figure out where to place them, and so forth. Granted, these are very different kinds of ads than the one calibrated to make young women feel bad about wearing any shoes that don't draw blood, but it is still somewhat outside my core competency.

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