Is Advertising Irrelevant?

By Matt Van Hoven 

Gitamba Saila-Ngita asks “Is Advertising Irrelevant?” in a post on his posterous, above a quote from Tim Manners’ book, “Relevance: making stuff that matters“. We’ll be the first to admit that this quote is taken out of context, so the point of this post is not to lay it on Manners, rather discuss the proposition as a means to clarify where the business is currently sitting. Philosophy, sorta.

“…Advertising is no longer relevant and therefor no longer accountable because, in the overwhelming majority of cases, it does not help anyone solve any problems or live a happier life. It is simply an annoyance. Instead of addressing the question of how to make themselves relevant to consumers, advertisers tend to go in the opposite direction, which is to dream up new ways to disrupt our lives with their irrelevant messages.”

Anyway, communication is an ongoing process with a lot of noise and even more differentiation, to the point that it’s often difficult to discern ads from news from phone calls. But that doesn’t really matter because at the end of the day we only pay attention to the messages that a) move us or b) we have to pay attention to because it’s our job or detrimental to our lives some how.

So how does advertising fit in and in what ways, if any, is it still relevant. This is your chance to anonymously defend what you do. But pretend your name is on the answer &#151 and let’s see what you’re made of.

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