There have been several authors who have considered how advertising is used to convey messages which are unnecessary and sometimes inappropriate. Garland, K. 'The First Things First Manifesto' (1964), Poyner, Lasn et al (2000) 'The First Things First Manifesto 2000', Poyner, R (2000) 'First Things First Revisited' and Beirut, M. (2007) 'Ten Footnotes to a Manifesto' have all commented upon the protection or promotion of the interests of consumers.
For instance, Garland (1964) is completely against the consumerist culture. He highlights the consumerist side of graphic design at a time when people were easily influenced by adverts and news in the 60's. He suggests 'proposing a reversal of priorities in favour of the more useful and more lasting forms of communication.' This view is also supported by Poyner, Lasn et al (2000) who highlights the fact that 'many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programs, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help.' He also mentions how the 'scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand.' This implies that consumerism is eliminating people's views and products such as 'designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes' are all becoming objects which have a harmful effect on the world. This has turned into an ethical issue, as all of these objects are either materialistic and unnecessary, or they are harmful to people's health. This relates strongly to figure 1, which illustrates two Sisley models participating in drug consumption in order to promote a clothes range. Here, the advert has been created to give a shock factor to the audience, but instead of promoting the clothes, the attention is on the drugs, promoting unethical products.
Beirut (2007) presents the idea that 'there are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social, and cultural crises demand our attention.' Figure 2 is proof of this. How advertisements for charities encourage and communicate the need for truth by simply showing half of a child's face implying silence. There is nothing unethical about this and it is twice as powerful for all of the right reasons. Similarly, Poyner, (2000) comments on the fact that 'the critical distinction drawn by the manifesto was between design and communication (giving people necessary information) and design as persuasion (trying to get them to buy things).' This is clearly shown when comparing figure 1 and figure 2, as they are both at opposite ends of the spectrum. It is necessary for people to be made aware of child abuse, however it is not necessary or acceptable to promote Sisley using drugs.
Interestingly however, and quite controversially, Poyner (2000) criticises the manifesto, arguing that 'in its wording, the manifesto did not acknowledge the extent to which this might, in reality, be a political issue, and Garland himself made a point of explaining that the underlying political and economic system was not being called into question. 'We do not advocate the abolition of high pressure consumer advertising' he wrote 'this is not feasible.' Poyner then goes on to make the point that it is a political issue and says it is 'the escalating commercial take-over of everyday life' implying that commercialism is not only becoming more and more of an issue by the day, but also suggesting that commercialism has become a political party in itself.
These four authors support the development for an argument concerning the negative concerns of commercialism. All of which believe that graphic design needs to change in order to prioritise and advertise growing concerns (figure 2) and get rid of advertisements with negative connotations (figure 1).