Great Advertising

The basic rule is do not buy anything that is advertised on TV. The annual budgets can run into the hundred of millions of dollars. The more advertising you see, the more determined you should be to never buy that product. It's a form of brainwashing, that puts these brand names into your subconscious. Unfortunately with the rise of social media there are more inciduous forms of persuasion. In all cases the products have over inflated prices and represent poor value for money. Major brands that you think you should be able to trust are generally the worst. Ingredients may cause cancer, be made using exploitation or generally be of inferior quality.


How much is enough? This is one of my favourite movies, and this is this best part.

Michael Moore is a comic genius. His affable, self deprecating demeanor, reels in Phil Knight as he laughs, smiles and jokes. His challenge to race 100 meters is hilarious. Then the look of horror on Knight's face, as he realises he has no answer to give, is golden.

So why the hell do people still where Nike? To show their friends that they are better than them, because they can they have the logo. They could buy a much better quality shoe for half the price and without the suffering that went into making them.


McDonald's loved using the UK libel laws to suppress criticism. Major media organisations like the BBC and The Guardian crumbled and apologised. But then they sued gardener Helen Steel and postman Dave Morris. In the longest trial in English legal history, the "McLibel Two" represented themselves against McDonald's £10 million legal team. Every aspect of the corporation's business was cross-examined: from junk food and McJobs, to animal cruelty, environmental damage and advertising to children. Outside the courtroom, Dave brought up his young son alone and Helen supported herself working nights in a bar. McDonald's tried every trick in the book against them. Legal manoeuvres. A visit from Ronald McDonald. Top executives flying to London for secret settlement negotiations. Even spies. Seven years later, in February 2005, the marathon legal battle finally concluded at the European Court of Human Rights. And the result took everyone by surprise - especially the British Government.


Over the past century, the company has been behind some intentionally harmful chemical products, including DDT, PCBs, and Agent Orange — a herbicide used extensively in Vietnam that has been blamed for 400,000 deaths and half a million birth defects. The use of DDT and PCBs was banned in the 1970s. Yet, they went on to worse things, with their disastrous GMO project. Playing with nature was never a great idea, and certainly has dangers. DNA strands are cultured in a bacterium and inserted into the host plant’s nucleus using a virus. Does that sound safe? Most GMO plants produced today are those that allow for resistance to a specific herbicide – Monsanto’s Roundup. The plants do not die, but they soak up the glyphosate based weed killer and that is what we consume.

The biggest danger is that they are driven by get rich quick investors. Depletion of soil quality, and of water levels are a ticking bomb that will go off for our next generation. In the context of climate change, having everythng optimised to a certain climate is risky strategy.


This scandal started in the 1970s when when Nestle was accused of getting third world mothers hooked on formula, which is less healthy and more expensive than breast milk. The benefits of breast feeding were well understood, yet dubious methods were used to persuade mother's the contrary, including sending sales women dressed in nurses uniforms to people homes. Often the powder was diluted with contaminated water and using too much water because the mother's could not afford it. The result was that millions of babies died from malnutrition. Infant growth in general was affected, with all the emotional and physical benefits of breast feeding being lost. Nestlé has never apologised for their actions. In fact, the opposite; they sued "War on Want", the charity that exposed them. There was a boycot and an ongoing battle, which for me will never end.


Social media giants are around to make money, period. Google say at least that they will "do no harm", but that is a long way from any desire to make positive change. Let's be clear, it is not a public service. Search results are often dubious, fueled by who is paying them, not by what you want find. It's a big boy monopoly where law makers have little understanding or influence. Stories that work well are often fakes news, or aimed at amplifying political and social divisions. During 2016 US elections Facebook was paid some $100,000 for ads connected to 470 inauthentic Facebook pages that were likely operated out of Russia. There was influence in the Brexit outcome, another close run vote. Young people are especially vulnerable to being manipulated, by some consumerist agenda, making the strive to emulate, air brushed lifestyles that are far from reality.

The film "Social Network" which charts Zuckerburg's ignominious beginnings has the most hilarious opening scene where he is dumped by his girlfriend.