The title is an exaggeration, but the effectiveness of advertising is not hyperbole.
Why advertising works is a good discussion. We know the message is biased, partial, not challenged and conveyed and narrated by self-interested parties, but the medium is successful.
The tragedy of the below is not a laughing matter, but it is nonetheless instructive to go back and look at past marketing conveyed through advertising. I want my readers to take a moment to filter the below $182 (US) billion discrepancy through the inner ethical lens.
AIG, the largest underwriter of insurance in the United States Of America, underwent severe turbulence in the recent 2008-2009 financial meltdown. It was only saved through governmental intervention.
Print advertisement from the ’90s: “financial strength,” “strongest insurance,” “AIG’s strength’s and stability,”… $17 billion in…. adjustment reserves,” “highest ratings,” et cetra.
Reality ten years later: according to Propublica journalism project, “On four separate occasions, the government offered aid to AIG to keep it from collapsing, rising from an initial $85 billion credit line from the Federal Reserve to a possible commitment of about $182 billion between the Treasury ($69.84 billion) and Fed ($112.5 billion).” These numbers help the company remain solvent, while nationalizing it.
Things That Need To Go Away: people believing advertisements, advertisers pitching make-believe and other illusions and delusions masquerading as fact.