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I think it's dangerous to lump it all in together.

What if you're advertising the historical equivalent of a vacuum cleaner over a brush? A dishwasher over washing up liquid, a car over a carriage, a savings fund that invests ethically over one that doesn't, a cheaper, faster municipal broadband over a monopolistic inferior broadband, the examples are innumerable. A progressive political party over a corrupt incumbent?

I agree in general that advertising should be curtailed from the present level, but I don't agree that it's fundamentally unethical.

If you've got to rely on word of mouth, even with the internet, it will take a lot longer for good, useful products/ideas to spread.




Your notion that there is only advertising and word of mouth is obviously wrong. There already exist other channels. Journalism, for one. Experts blogging, for another. Conferences are a third. These are popular and useful today, and they would only become more so in a world without advertising. Likely new things would emerge as well.

If advertising were vital for learning about new products, nobody would use open source software. Nobody would use Hacker News for that matter. They do, which should tell you there's something wrong with your theory.


> Nobody would use Hacker News for that matter.

Hacker News is literally advertising / lead gen for YCombinator.


One, I rarely find it useful to discuss things with people who are in the habit of picking some nit, focusing on that, and ignoring the meat of my point, but I'll try one more reply. Two, per Upton Sinclair [1], I'm not sure it's worth discussing this with somebody who identifies as a marketer. And three, Hacker News is not advertising in the common sense of that term, which is paid placement of a message. If that is somehow confusing to you, I would like to see a ban for paid placement of messages, and not people doing something good for the public in hopes that people will like and pay attention to them.

[1] https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/21810-it-is-difficult-to-ge...


> I would like to see a ban for paid placement of messages, and not people doing something good for the public in hopes that people will like and pay attention to them.

Apologies for yet again picking a nit, but PR doesn't involve paid placement of a message. Neither does lobbying, media relations, inbound marketing (Hacker News), messaging, positioning, or getting an intern to stand with a sandwich board through the street. You could run a coach and horses through that definition of advertising.


I have no idea why you have decided I have an issue with all marketing. But when I said advertising, I actually meant advertising. In case you are still unclear on what that is, Wikipedia explains it well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advertising




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