The Age of the Floss Dispenser

In an essay titled “The Tyranny of Small Decisions,” none other than Alfred E. Kahn once noted that

[m]onopoly elements may cause the buyer to be presented with excessively narrow choices that do not correctly reflect that actual costs of the competing alternatives; and the result may be an uneconomic spiral of product quality changes over time [and] so-called ‘product inflation.’

In order to keep the money flowing, in other words, big business interests “may” use their clout to ignore and suppress achingly obvious macro-choices, while pushing increasingly trivial micro-choices.

Behold, then, this:

That, friends, is one of our glorious economic system’s newest offerings. It is a $20 dental floss dispenser.

Nuff said.

Self-Storage Statistics

clutter-on-couch Corporate capitalism means an ever-expanding marketing race between its major firms, which in turn means the ceaseless, progressive, radical commodification and commercialization of human cultures.

Here is one apt indicator of this entirely predictable, if politically unmentioned, trend:

As of 2016, the annual revenue of the U.S. self-storage industry exceeded the annual gross domestic products of each of the 100 poorest nation-states on Earth.

BBM Asshole: Roger Black

Tonight, I launch a new CT feature: the BBM [Big Business Marketing] Asshole List. When I come across words or actions from a corporate marketing practitioner that tips the hand of the system with particular clarity and power, the asshole in question will appear here to collect their glory. (Nominees from readers very welcome!)

The very first BBM Asshole enshrinement goes to ad designer Roger Black. the blackmeister

The esteemed Mr. Black enunciates the mind of corporate capital regarding something the public utterly hates and would sharply reverse, if it had any access to the decisions driving it: the increasing advertising clutter that emanates from big business normalcy.

“It’s like noise on the streets of Manhattan,” Black tells Advertising Age about the problem of “consumers” becoming desensitized by ever-exploding ad clutter.

“You [here, Black means citizens, not corporate shills such as himself] just get used to it, in which case you [and here he means corporate shills such as himself] just have to make it noisier.”

BBM Asshole.