Nick Fitzhugh Posted over 3 years ago Can advertising be both a force for commerce AND a force for good? I would like to comment on what I see as the difference between "advertising" and "marketing", as well as the difference between "customers" and "consumers". In my view, advertising is when a company puts out information into the public domain about its products or services, so that if someone out there has need of that product they know where to acquire it; i.e.. to whom they can give their custom. However, I believe that this quaint notion has been slowly but inexorably overturned to be replaced by the new wave of "marketing", whose aim is to put messages into the public domain that try to convince us that we have a NEED for a company's product. Sometimes such messages will even go as far as to imply that our self esteem or social status depends critically on having this product, and sometimes even that it must be THIS YEAR'S model of the product! The aim of these messages, of course, is merely to encourage consumption; the products no longer to exist to serve the customer, but the consumer exists to serve the product producer - by endless consumption. Not only is this situation not good for the environment - from the depletion of raw materials to produce products that are either entirely unnecessary or designed to be shortly thrown away and replaced - but it's not good for us either because, if we are susceptible to these marketing messages, we are pressured into a constant state of feeling incomplete. I believe marketing consultants have a responsibility to redress this situation, and to use their own skills of persuasion back on their own clients - i.e. the product producers - to create a market reality where there is a healthier, more genuine, and more sustainable balance between what is being produced and what we really need in daily life. Let's start by remembering that our role in life is NOT just to consume!