You’re in Advertising?

For years now, I have always been cautious of telling people what business I am in. Because “Advertising” connotes descriptors like: manipulative, seedy, hyperbolic, a bait & switcher, and unscrupulous (to name a few). And frankly, I would be found guilty of these traits by association. So, I found many ways to skirt the subject. “I do marketing”, “I produce jingles”, “I write copy”… But a few years ago, a revelation came to me. I am sure this is not a unique discovery, but it was an “aha” moment for me.

Because of something I had read, it became apparent to me that one of the salient values of advertising…was its key position as the “hub” of Democracy and Capitalism.

Imagine a world without advertising.

First off, there would be no ” choice”. In essence, one would never know what is available. And as a consequence, without “Advertising”, monopolies would arise and the notion of “free choice” would disappear. “Free” being the salient word. Advertising is a very important aspect of the concept of “Freedom”, which is the “hub” of Democracy. We all want choices and options. Because the more of them we have, the better the decisions we can make. Ergo, personal power ensues, which creates “a level playing field” which again, drives Democracy. Cool eh?

Others have written more insightfully, with more depth about this subject. I recommend the reading of Barbara Phillips’ treatise, “In Defense of Advertising”

So when someone asks me “what business are you in?” I still evade the answer because, if I explained my reasoning from above, they would say, “Sounds like Advertising to me”. And that’s the point. I would still be accused of being manipulative, hyperbolic, bait & switcher and unscrupulous.

I resent the word “seedy”.

So there’s no good in my intellectual argument.

Now I answer, “Aluminum Siding”.


– Syd Kessler is co-founder and Head of Creative for Wunderkind. Along with his role in Wunderkind, Syd spends his time identifying, investing and then mentoring new businesses and organizations. He is also a prolific author on the topic of consciousness and behaviour.