[Advertising is] a malignant mutation of an idea that efficient markets need a way to connect goods and services with people wanting to buy them. Limited to honestly informing people about what’s available on the market, it can serve a crucial function in enabling trade. In the real world however, it’s moved way past that role.

Real world advertising is not about informing, it’s about convincing. Over time, it became increasingly manipulative and dishonest. It also became more effective. In the process, it grew to consume a significant amount of resources of every company on the planet. It infected every communication medium in existence, both digital and analog. It shapes every product and service you touch, and it affects your interactions with everyone who isn’t your close friend or family member. Through all that, it actively destroys trust in people and institutions alike, and corrupts the decision-making process in any market transaction. It became a legitimized form of industrial-scale psychological abuse, and there’s no way you can resist its impact.

Jacek Złydach on cultural cancer.