The values and principles of advertising and those of sustainable devel. opment are in many respects contradictory to each other. Indeed, the advertising industry, and in particular commercial advertising, was created as the major tool of the capitalist system in the late 19th and early part of the 20th century in order to boost consumption and growth. This process — which is problematic with the currently fast developing notion of sustainable consumption — is a subset of sustain. able development that has been discussed by a number of authors in the macro marketing literature (Dolan, 2002; Kilbourne et al., 1997; Kilbourne, 2004; Kilbourne, 1995; Schaefer & Crane, 2005; Heiskanen & Pantzar, 1997; Peattie & Crane, 2005; Varey, 2010; Varey, 2011). For a few decades now a large body of literature has critically assessed one of the main ideological functions of advertising: the creation of meaning for commodities in a capitalist economy (Baudrillard, 1968, 1970; Cathelat & Cadet, 1976; Featherstone, 2007; Lash & Urry, 1994; Leiss et al., 2005; McCracken, 1986; Sherry, 1987; Shudson, 1993; Wernick, 1991; Williamson, 1978). These studies note that advertising, as a tool of the ideology of consumption, transforms the purely mate. rial function of commodities into a symbolic world of ideological and cultural meanings, which are attached to these commodities.
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