The ad industry ‘encourages high consumer spending and indebtedness. It can create insatiable aspirations, fuelling feelings of dissatisfaction, inadequacy and stress,' according to the report `A Bit Rich?'
The study claims to measure the share of social and environmental damage caused by overconsumption that is attributable to advertising. ‘For a salary of between £50,000 and £12 million, top advertising executives destroy £11.50 of value for every pound in value they generate,' the report says.
The authors said the study calculated the good attributed to the advertising industry such as jobs created for those who make and sell products, this is offset by the negative effects of overconsumption.
‘We have calculated the costs to UK society of obesity, anxiety-related mental health problems and indebtedness. Then there are the substantial environmental costs from climate change and resource depletion. It is estimated that in rich countries such as the UK, the level of consumption is three times as much as the planet's environmental resources can sustain.'