The World Economic Forum has found evidence of negative links between national advertising and national wellbeing

Moreover, research professor Brené Brown has found that the one thing keeping us from love and belonging is the fear that we are not worthy of love and belonging. She found that those who fully experience joy and live wholeheartedly have the courage to accept their imperfection – recognising and believing that they are enough. We are all enough, but sadly, it’s harder to believe this when we’re bombarded by toxic messages suggesting we’re not. Through the ‘Selling Virtues’ project, I invite everyone to hold these cynical commercial intrusions to account and play a bigger part in their own happiness and wellbeing.

Most advertising works by trying to excite us about things which we didn’t know we wanted and in many cases that we don’t deeply need, and that pull us in unhelpful directions. It’s not the new car, the holiday or the latest restaurant experience, these things aren’t going to resolve our desire to belong, or to work out our relationships for us.
— Alain de Botton

Let’s take up the challenge to ask the deepest and most sincere psychologists and philosophers, those who truly understand the deeper needs of human beings and pair them with the big and glossy and powerful and talented advertising agencies to create an advertising campaign for some of the stuff we really do need.

We are confusing our needs with our wants
— Oliver James, Affluenza
“As a private person, I have a passion for landscape, and I have never seen one improved by a billboard. Where every prospect pleases, man is at his vilest when he erects a billboard. When I retire from Madison Avenue, I am going to start a secret society of masked vigilantes who will travel around the world on silent motor bicycles, chopping down posters at the dark of the moon. How many juries will convict us when we are caught in these acts of beneficent citizenship?”
— David Ogilvy "Father of Advertising"