The Effects Of Publicity And Advertising On Society During The 1970 ' S

1496 Words Oct 6th, 2015 6 Pages
John Berger, author of Ways of Seeing, takes time to discuss the impact and origin of publicity and advertisements in society during the 1970’s. Berger offers the idea that “Publicity turns consumption into a substitute for democracy” (Berger 149). After reading this statement, one can’t help to question its validity. Not only did Berger make a profound statement, it is an idea that resonated and held water throughout the ages, leading up to the present day.
First let’s start with the definition of democracy. The Merriam-Webster definition of democracy states “a form of government in which people choose by voting” (citation). We as a country and a population vote for certain aspects of our life, not all and therefore, we are not a true democracy, but we knew that already. Now, let’s keep that in mind and look at advertising and the choices presented to us. In theory, our vote for a certain choice is what we choose to buy. We buy brands that appeal to us for a variety of different reasons, of which pertain to the individual. By choosing what we partake in and what we don’t, Berger says, we are satisfied and therefore fail to realize the lack of choice that truly surrounds us. For example, the grocery store. Every aisle is full of five or six different brands or variety, at least, of the most basic items. We choose to buy Cheerios over Lucky Charms, we also choose to buy the name brand over the Crispy Oats or Marshmallow Magic; this is the same cereal, just different name, a…
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