Imagine a “No Advertising’ rule. Whenever you wanted to buy something, you’d just look it up in a central directory with a really good search engine that enabled you to see all of your options (a select few based on your preferences) accompanied by product information. Or you could just choose from the selection offered by whatever store you went to.
Most magazines, newspapers, radio stations, and television stations would die. The ones that are just tools of the companies who use them for advertising. The ones supported by people genuinely interested in reading, listening, and watching what they have to offer would live on.
So that means all those incredibly annoying djs who sound hyper-enthusiastic about, well, everything – gone. All those tv stations full of all those inane tv shows that no one in their right mind would pay to see – gone. (And oh to watch a show without the station logo on the screen in my face the whole time. Has anyone actually proven that that increases how much I watch NBC or CBC or whoever? It’s like the company name that was etched on the glass door of my woodstove; since I like to watch a fire without someone’s name etched on my consciousness every time I do, I had the glass replaced.)
No more blinking billboards to distract us from driving. (Those things should be illegal in any case.)
No more flyers. All that time, labor, and material used by the company, the post office, and the recipient to deal with all that advertising – recovered, for other purposes.
No more telemarketing phone calls. (There’s a reason there are no more door-to-door salesmen. We’d’ve shot ‘em all by now.)
And my god, the internet. All those pages that would load twice as quickly if they didn’t have ads. No to mention the spam. Gone.
$500 billion would become available for other purposes. Instead of spending all that money to make their products look good, companies might use it to make good products. And to clean up their messes.
Lastly, freed from the constant onslaught of others telling us what we need and want, maybe we could recognize our genuine needs and wants.