There’s an intense and thoroughly thought-provoking interview with Kalle Lasn in the latest issue of Archive Magazine that we highly recommend picking up. Lasn is one of the founders of the Vancouver-based not-for-profit, anti-consumerist Adbusters Media Foundation.
Among explaining what subvertising is and how he plans to dismount the mighty Nike with his own sneaker brand, Lasn goes into a run-down of how advertising is responsible for many of the woes in the world today. A quote from the interview follows.
“[Advertising] just got massively out of hand at a time when we’re experiencing climate change, at a time when we’re experiencing mental dysfunction, and at a time that we’re in a war against terror. We’ve got three big things wrong with our global situation right now. One is that we’re using up too much energy. We’re consuming too much. And secondly, we’re in an epidemic of mental illness: mood disorders, anxiety attacks, and depressions are going up exponentially. The World Health Organization is warning us that, in a few years, mental disease is going to be bigger than heart disease. And then we’re in this never-ending war against terror, which is partly fueled by the fact that there’s such a huge gap between the rich and the poor people of the world. And advertising has something to do with all those three things. If we, the rich one billion people on the planet, are already consuming too much, then why do we need a five-hundred-billion-dollar-a-year industry telling us every day, three thousand times a day, to consumer even more? It’s oxymoronic. There’s something crazy about that kind of an industry. I predict that the advertising industry will collapse down to something much more like a bread-and-butter kind of industry over the next ten years. Right now, it’s five hundred billion dollars a year. I think that in the year 2010 it’s only going to start going down; after going up for a hundred years, it’s now reached a kind of rupture point.”