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on July 22, 2010
We can't set foot out of the house without exposure to advertising, even if we don't watch TV, use the Internet, or read fashion magazines. Advertising is everywhere, from billboards and posters to clothing to shop windows. It is an inconvenient truth that we are indeed affected by advertising and commercialism, even if we don't believe it.

This book is as much a psychology book as a sociology book. Using examples, statistics, interviews, and her own life experience, Kilbourne covers the connections between advertising and addiction. Ads talk directly to addicts in an attempt to make the addiction look like normal and accepted behavior. She addresses how we reach for material things in a futile attempt to find comfort. In an over-consumerist society that is destroying the planet, advertising encourages us to consume more and more and to replace interconnectedness, relations, and communication with material things. A car doesn't argue with you, so it's easier to buy a car than to communicate with people.

Can't Buy My Love is a very important book for all Americans to read, so that they will be able to see advertising with a critical and conscious eye and not be fooled. It will also enable Americans to protect their children from the conditioning that advertisers, including those of the tobacco and alcohol industries, consciously attempt.
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on September 23, 2008
This book is a critical review of the approach advertisers use to promote their products. The author presents the attractive messages provided, and then goes on to describe the intended and actual effect of product use. A crucial conclusion provided in each chapter is the potential addiction of adopting the various services offered with the purchase of each product. This book is of great value to the individual reader as well as to college-level students, in that it provides a healthy approach to critically reviewing items considered for purchase. Readers are thus enabled to make consumer expenditures in terms of informed judgments, rather than from momentary impulses.
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on April 29, 2013
I have always known that advertising had an impact on society as well as individuals but didn't see the details. This book is an eye opener and while we still are in control, we can be so easily influenced without really thinking about it. This book should be a must read for all high school students, perhaps incorporated in sociology class.
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on October 9, 2004
Starting from the personal and then on to the political, Jean's drama is quite an account of manipulation and how the self-concept can have a distorting and whitewashing effect. She has a formidable ability to use the tactics of the advertizing industry to get her own agenda across. Thus, it is important not to fall into the trap of thinking and aspiring to the ideals generated by both 'beauty' industries.
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on April 19, 2002
I didn't think ads affected me in any way, until I've read this book. It talks about the strategies ads do to sell their products. This includes making women appear as sexual objects and how ads teach men to treat women as objects. And How this affects our society. Don't think it does? Oh it certainly does!
This is the truth about ads. The harsh truth is ads don't care about you or your well being or how we treat women or men, they just want to catch our attention so that the product will sell. Its disgusting but its the truth, how we're so used to the messages that ads give us that we think that what their telling us is the truth.
When in fact its all lies! The reviewer below is right, you'll never look at ads the same way after reading this. The writer doesn't try to be funny, but is angry and has a right to be. Its disgusting the way ads depict women as objects, I feel so sad for women everywhere that are exploited by the ads.
This book will open your eyes and tell you the truth about ads.
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on December 6, 2012
brilliant book mocking of modern over-consumerism..the excessive never enough, self-destructive ways that are blatantly spotted by the advertisers as total weakness..not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not having enough gadgets..not driving fast with fast cars...all of it..great book! And we must really sit down and distinguish between wants and needs
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on June 14, 2010
I am a big fan of Jean Kilbourne and her work. This book is great and insightful. If you liked her "killing us softly" presentation then you will love this book too. Some of the ads she talks about are included in the book which is nice.
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on July 16, 2005
After a great start, this book quickly sinks into a pop culture excerise that implements the very methods the author hopes to expose. Ads after ad is thrown onto the stage, summed up in fifty words or less, and subsequently denounced as "harmful" to society. The reasons for this pronouncement vary wildly and are almost never backed by supporting evidence. What we get are impressions, not reasoned thought.

This is unfortunate because advertising is an arena that deserves some investigation. Unfortunately, you won't find that here. Instead, you have something almost as bombastic as the alcohol ads the author attacks. There are no interviews with the artists, photographers, script writers, producers, or manufacturers of the ads that are reviewed, nor of the products they represent. There is no investigation into the market research behind the ads. There is virtually NO evidence allowed except for the author's own assumptions.

It also becomes apparant about half way through the book that the author has more at issue with the products being advertised than the advertising itself. Close to 1/3 of the book is spent exploring just cigarette and alcohol ads. The author's attitude about these products borders on abolitionism, the main thrust of her argument being not that that advertising is harmful so much as that the products advertised are inherently diabolical and lead to self destruction. Whatever one may think about these products, this is absolutely not the place for this discussion.

Not everything about this book is bad. The opening chapter, in which it is explained that the mass media exists for the purpose of fueling advertising, is excellent. Had the author stuck to that topic, I think this book would have been grand.
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on May 22, 2015
Good purchase!
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on March 3, 2016
as advertised
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