Partie 4 : Réalités économiques

Chapitre 34 : The consumer society

Advertising, page 74

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goods, products
an advertisement, an advert, an ad
a commercial, a break
an adman
to hype up
a neon sign
a poster
a hoarding, a billboard

Advertising is often considered necessary for economic growth. Many products wouldn’t sell so well without advertisements.

Michelle Obama launched a campaign against junk food ads aimed at kids a few years ago.

Marketing, page 74

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a brand
enhancement, improvement
conclusive, convincing
detrimental to
to target, to aim at
to promote
to follow up
to market something
a competitor, a rival
to stay ahead of
a niche
a market share

Marketers aim at staying ahead of the consumer. They must continually understand the consumers’ concerns and identify new trends. However launching a new product always involves some risk-taking.

Food for thought, page 75

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Opponents of the consumer society claim that consumption is now at the heart of our cultural system. They blame big corporations that encourage irrepressible desires to own as many objects as possible or to consume as much leisure as we can.

People become obsessed with material possession and the pleasure of consuming. They sometimes even identify strongly with the products or services they consume, for example a luxury car, designer clothing or a trip to the other side of the world. Some people are prepared to sacrifice significant time and money for a status symbol. Also, consumerist societies are more prone to damage the environment than other societies.

Others say that we should focus on fighting the excesses of consumerism, rather than consumerism itself, by encouraging “eco-conscious shopping,” or by warning people of the dangers of overconsumption.