So what significance, if any, do you see in the fact that the Obama administration employs the same design studio that has been used by Ecko? Should we be concerned that our National symbols are developed by the same minds that develop cliche urban (I’m being polite by saying urban, we could also call it commodified hip-hop) commercials for a whore of a company? Or maybe the real concern here is what this connection symbolizes?

How much influence do commercial institutions like these have on Presidential elections? Should public relations firms be hired by public offices? What does it mean when our President wins the Association of National Advertisers’ Marketer Of The Year Award? If CIT stops lending money to Ecko, will Complex continue to post pictures of half-nekkid women? I mean, why else would we subscribe to their rss then (except for maybe MF Grimm’s comic book column)?

Noam Chomsky gave a presentation recently that covers a lot of these issues. Listen or read in its entirety. Here’s an excerpt:

And notice incidentally on the side that the institutions that run the elections, public relations industry, advertisers, they have a role — their major role is commercial advertising. I mean, selling a candidate is kind of a side rule. In commercial advertising as everybody knows, everybody who has ever looked at a television program, the advertising is not intended to provide information about the product, all right? I don’t have to go on about that. It’s obvious. The point of the advertising is to delude people with the imagery and, you know, tales of a football player, sexy actress, who you know, drives to the moon in a car or something like that. But, that’s certainly not to inform people. In fact, it’s to keep people uninformed.

The goal of advertising is to create uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices. Those of you who suffered through an economics course know that markets are supposed to be based on informed consumers making rational choices. But industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to undermine markets and to ensure, you know, to get uninformed consumers making irrational choices.