tackling consumerism: Advertisers Anonymous (A.A.) and its sister organisation AdAnon were founded by ordinary folks whose lives have been disrupted, damaged, or destroyed by advertising, marketing, public relations, and media saturation (they call it ‘the spectacle’). Their motto is ‘conformity kills’.
who: Advertisers Anonymous is a network of culture-industry professionals (and passionate hobbyists) who have realised that their lives have been devastated by the addiction to the false security and power that ‘the spectacle’ provides to those who are enslaved by it. They acknowledge that the spectacle has become the centre of their lives, and that their involvement in the spectacle is out of control. AdAnon, its twin organisation, is made up of people not directly involved in the production and dissemination of spectacle culture, ready to confront the damage that has been done to their loved ones and to themselves. All of them are ready to be actual people again, and to confront the stunting of their creativity, the twisting of their psyches, the indoctrination, and the belittling.
what: at A.A. people talk about consuming, the trouble it gets them into, and how they can all stop. The network has no employees, no members and no headquarters, and are profoundly allergic to leaders and hierarchy. Its main aim is to get people thinking about how we can use our particular strengths and talents in the exciting project of taking the world back from the tiny group of greedy psychopaths who control our collective lives on this small planet. Their internet site is devoted to visual counter-propaganda, and contains useful links to other analogue initiatives run by people (people just like you!) who are fighting censorship, working in poor communities, organising workers against big business, fomenting large-scale insurrections, and much more.
Their message is clear: television is not life, and life is too short to waste working at a meaningless job. Kick the spectacle habit! Get the dominant culture off your back and have the only fun that really matters: the pleasure of helping to bring about profound, liberating social change.
their voice: “We who are in A.A. came because we finally gave up trying to control our consumption of spectacular, commodified culture. […] Then we heard from other A.A. members that our culture is sick. (We thought so for years!) We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt and loneliness and hopelessness that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we had the disease of consumerism. We decided to try and face up to what the spectacle had done to us.”