WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?

Consumer Culture Editorials
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Understanding money, debt and income. Deceptive advertising and marketing manipulation, how to get the best values, the Columbine tragedy, and even a little history of mass marketing. Editorials by Rick Doble, Editor.
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25.3 WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? - CONSUMER CULTURE ARTICLES, FROM SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com

Psychologists have identified a new condition, SWS or "sudden wealth syndrome." Everyone dreams of striking it rich but then what happens? It turns out that many new millionaires have found their world turned upside down. They do not know who to trust, whether to work, and if they don't work what do they do with their time? They are faced with a myriad of other choices such as should they move to a fancy neighborhood and leave their friends, etc. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

25.3.1 A LITTLE HISTORY

"Since Vance Packard published The Hidden Persuaders in 1957, Americans have become curiously comfortable with the idea that advertising manipulates them. Packard's book, an attack on the field of motivational research, raised explicitly moral issues about the means and ends of that manipulation: encouraging impulsive buying, wasting natural resources, exploiting secret desires and sexual sensitivities for commercial purposes, and extending commercial models for control to political situations. His moral tone now seems old-fashioned."

From Satisfaction Guaranteed, The Making of the American Mass Market, by Susan Strasser, Pantheon Books, $14.95.`

25.3.2 A LITTLE HISTORY

Today there are a lot of ads for prescription drugs. This is something recent. Five years ago there were hardly any ads for these medicines.

While this particular wrinkle is new, the concept goes back over 100 years. At this time, general stores and dry goods stores sold generic goods. All the items in the store were "store brands." Then Ivory Soap and Nabisco starting advertising in magazines, extolling the public to demand their much more expensive product by name. They were so successful that brand names have become dominant and store brands have taken the bottom shelf, so to speak.


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So when a patient comes into a doctor's office demanding prescription for a brand name allergy medicine, the forces of advertising are at work today as they were in the late 1800s.

We need to ask these important questions. Should a patient be telling his or her doctor how to medicate the patient? Isn't this turning the doctor patient relationship upside down? Should drugs that can only be had with a doctor's approval be marketed directly to consumers?


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