Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you doing this?  

I am opposed to widespread advertising impacting every aspect of our existence.   And I am drawing a line around the space that I deem inappropriate for advertising to inhabit. In this case it is my blog.  

As an avid blogger for the past six years I started to receive numerous offers of money from companies to both advertise on my site and also to "mention" products as a form of endorsement in the content of my blog.   Knowing this goes on it became necessary to differentiate myself from blogs that contain ads and inform my readers that they can know for sure that my endorsement of anything (whether it's a product, a book, a piece of art, an idea) comes directly from me and not influenced by any outside source/company/or corporation.

I initially made the logo just for myself.   Once I put it up I received many requests from other bloggers asking if they could use it too.   Hence this site was created.  

Why do you care?   Can't you just ignore the ads?   I have ads on my blog but it doesn't affect what I write.

Many bloggers say they will not let the ads affect the editorial content. I question this statement. Can you guarantee that?  And knowing that other people are offered money to "mention" a product on their site don't you start to wonder whether someone is recommending something in an unbiased way? We live in a culture where advertisers directly influence and in some cases control and create the culture at large.   Honesty of the writing is affected when corporate interests are paying the bills. This has been proven time and time again in the case of periodicals, films, and television.   The more ads that appear on blogs the less we will all trust in honesty of the medium as a whole.

The byproduct of this is that blogging medium (as with many/most others forms of media in our culture, magazines, news, film, etc.) is now *influenced/controlled* by large corporations. If you don't know why this is a problem I highly recommend the film "the corporation" (linked below), which explains in a succinct way why most large corporations have no accountablity, and are only about the bottom line throwing public wellfare and the health of the planet to the wayside.

For those who are of the "ads don't affect me" mentality I would like to point you to a few sources that explain succinctly why overexposure to advertising on a daily basis is problematic, as well as issues created by corporate ownership and influence over mass media.

articles

A 'Death Spiral of Disrespect'

the corporatized child

hand to brand combat

Selling Advertising

film

the corporation

sites

commercial free childhood

Media ownership chart

By linking your website on the ad-free blog site aren't you advertising yourself as an artist?   By working for a corporation aren't you essentially 'taking ad money'?

In linking my site here I am taking ownership of my words and being accountable to them as an individual, (to do otherwise would seem like i am operating in a 'cloaked' manner).It is not an attempt to "promote" my work as an artist. Frankly there are much more effective ways to do that. If anything this site has more potential to harm my career as a commercial artist.

A quote from a reader:

Believing that corporations need to have their presence in public life limited is perfectly compatible with working for those corporations.

You are drawing a line around a space you deemed inappropriate for corporations to inhabit. And you are not willing to move your line for money. You are also happy to work for them within what you consider appropriate boundaries. I don't see a contradiction here. I see an issue of appropriateness and restraint, two concepts that are glaringly absent from American public discourse--or should I say from the discourse of capitalism? What is the proper role for commercialism in a culture? What are the restraints on the powerful necessary for a just society to function? I see your questioning of blog ads within this frame of thought."

I see a vast difference in someone promoting a piece of art that they created (or a book they wrote), and someone being paid to sell ad space to corporate advertisers.   I also do not agree that doing a job for a magazine or newspaper is 'taking ad money'. It has to do with the direct exchange of services, I create a work of art (which has inherent value), providing a service for my client and I receive money (value) for that. My reasons for this are largely philosophical and probably another topic altogether.

What about taking advertisers money and giving a large portion to charity, thusly transforming the negative into something positive (effectively thumbing our nose at the corporation)?

It seems at first glance a viable option, but as I sit with it I still have some problems. This has to do with what kind of energy I want to put out into the world, and that I choose to be accountable for all of it. I do not wish to contribute more to the rampant consumeristic culture that we already find ourselves in.    By supporting these companies in any way I am giving them more power over the world in which I live and effectively saying to them "I believe in what you are doing."

What if I chose certain companies (ones that I believe in) to advertise on my site?

Yes, this is an option. I do like to support people whose work I value. I personally still have a problem with receiving money for this, once again it comes down to credibility for me. I want my readers to trust that I act not only for personal gain or monetary reward. This decision comes down to one of personal choice.   Ads are a way to make money, lets be clear about this.   The best way to support a company is to write about them.

Why all the focus on the negative, isn't there something else you could do about it?

I believe that advertising in our culture should be subject to appropriateness and restraint (as previously mentioned).   And I think it is important for us to question it's use and it's impact on us at every turn. I do not see my questioning as a negative thing but instead a positive one that empowers me and (by sharing my journey) potentially others to live in a conscious manner and make educated decisions.   The dialogue is important.

Here are a few groups of organizations and artists who are looking, questioning and examining and whose work serves to counteract the negative effects of a consumerist culture:

anti advertising agency

adbusters

free-soil

stay free magazine

commercial alert

advertising educational foundation

media education foundation

indy media

"If we, as a society, lose our voice completely, and corporations start doing all the talking, then we'll be utterly lost. To some degree, this has already happened. Our ability to envision a future collectively has already been severely compromised.". ~ Kalle Lasn

 

 

 

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