The Crass Commercialization of America (Version 1.0)

AdverLab and Rob Walker both presented this interesting piece of resistance movement memorabilia from 1885.
It predates Adbusters by more than a century. And it’s interesting to note that in 1885 there was to radio advertising, no TV advertising, no internet advertising, no guerilla marketing tactics, etc. Yet, people clearly felt the act of commercial cluttering had no end in sight (and they were right).

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. In 1759, Samuel Johnson said: Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetick.
    You can find his full writing at
    Seems that people have been annoyed by the clutter of advertising for a long time!