Ad Creep

Americans feel assaulted by ads. There are ads in schools, airport lounges, doctors offices, movie theaters, hospitals, gas stations, elevators, convenience stores, on the Internet, on fruit, on ATM's, on garbage cans and countless other places. There are ads on beach sand and restroom walls.

"I don't know if anything is sacred anymore," Mike Swanson, who directs ad placement for the ad agency Carmichael Lynch, told the Associated Press.

This assault intensifies virtually every day. With ad budgets skyrocketing, advertising techniques inevitably become more invasive and coercive. Advertisers are engaged in a relentless battle to claim every waking moment, and what one executive called, with chilling candor,mind share.

More Information

News Releases

Commercial Alert Response to Hasbro-Discovery Channel Joint Venture
Robert Weissman | April 30th, 2009

Commercialism is Overrunning the Olympics, Charges Report
Robert Weissman | August 6th, 2008

Hasbro’s “New” Monopoly: Junk Food On Park Place
Gary Ruskin and Jonathan Rowe | September 12th, 2006

Commercial Alert Statement on CBS “Egg-vertising”
Gary Ruskin | July 17th, 2006

Seattle School Board Wins National Ad Slam Contest
Gary Ruskin | June 12th, 2002

Ad Slam Contest Will Award $5,000 Prize for Removing Ads from School
Gary Ruskin | October 16th, 2001

GAO Report Shows Most Kids Not Protected from Ads in Schools
Gary Ruskin | September 14th, 2001

Commercial Alert Praises Hillary Clinton's Proposed Ban on Ads Targeted at Preschoolers
Gary Ruskin | September 28th, 2000

Commercial Alert Praises Hillary Clinton's Proposed Ban on Ads Targeted at Preschoolers
Gary Ruskin | September 28th, 2000

Commercial Alert Queries Ad Agencies About
Gary Ruskin | April 12th, 2000

Nader Criticizes Wells Fargo's ATM Captive-Customer Ads, High Fees
Gary Ruskin | March 9th, 1999

Nader Starts Group to Oppose the Excesses of Marketing, Advertising and Commercialism
Gary Ruskin | September 8th, 1998


Mardi Gras First: Corporate Sponsorships
Gary Ruskin | November 26th, 2005

A 'Death Spiral of Disrespect'; If the Consumer is Really King, Why Do Marketers Keep Bombarding Him?
Gary Ruskin | April 26th, 2004

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Burger King Product Placement on Facebook
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Risa Polansky | Miami Today | January 8th, 2009

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Natalie Zmuda | Advertising Age | December 22nd, 2008

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Derek Harper | | December 15th, 2008

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Laurie Sullivan | Online Media Daily | December 15th, 2008

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Marissa Miley | Advertising Age | December 1st, 2008

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Abbey Klaassen | Advertising Age | October 13th, 2008

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YouTube Tests 'Click-to-Buy' Ads
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Google Intros AdSense for Games
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Sims Venture Into Outside World Full of Advertising
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Airlines Serve Ads to a Captive Audience
Peter Pae | Los Angeles Times | October 3rd, 2008

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School Children Thrown Overboard into Commercial Sea
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State Farm Ventures Into Reality TV
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Kimberly-Clark Reaches Out to Moms
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TNT Launches Latest Micro-Series with Acura
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Strapped for Cash, Schools Eye Bus Ads
Emily Bryson York | Advertising Age | September 15th, 2008

Study: Gamers Respond to Ads
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Natalie Zmuda | Advertising Age | September 8th, 2008

Electronic Billboards to Appear in Venice's St. Mark's Square
Emma Hall | Advertising Age | September 3rd, 2008

Fox Soccer Crafts Show for Bass Ale
Shahnaz Mahmud | AdWeek | August 29th, 2008

Retailers Give it the Old College Try
Jennifer Saranow | The Associated Press | August 28th, 2008

TV's Future Looks Like Web's Present
Brian Morrissey | AdWeek | August 27th, 2008

Facebook Proposes 'Engagement Ads,' Educates Marketers
Abbey Klaassen | Advertising Age | August 25th, 2008

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Dan Macsai | BusinessWeek | August 22nd, 2008

The Ad Changes With the Shopper in Front of It
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FTC Commissioner Tackles Ads for Kids
Ross Kenneth Urken | The Wall Street Journal | August 20th, 2008

Coke Pins China Hopes On Blitz in Beijing
Geoffrey A. Fowler and Betsy McKay | The Wall Street Journal | August 19th, 2008

Study Slams IOC Sponsorship Policies
Steve McClellan | AdWeek | August 18th, 2008

Papa John's Pie in the Sky
Laura Petrecca and Bruce Horovitz | USA Today | August 17th, 2008

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Stuart Elliot | The New York Times | August 14th, 2008

Crying Foul over Online Junk Food Marketing
Catherine Holahan | BusinessWeek | August 12th, 2008

A Film on the Trucking Life Also Promotes a Big Rig
Stuart Elliot | The New York Times | August 12th, 2008

The Battle for the Lower Third
Broadcasting & Cable | August 12th, 2008

Olympics Overrun by Commercial Interests: Report
Richard Tedesco | PROMO Magazine | August 11th, 2008

Commercialism is Overrunning the Olympics, Charges Report
News Blaze | August 6th, 2008

SinglePoint Serves Ads to Mobile Phones
Shahnaz Mahmud | AdWeek | August 5th, 2008

Summer Silliness Brings a Pizza Field and a Giant Oreo
Stephanie Clifford | The New York Times | August 1st, 2008

Unilever's Degree Nabs Starring Role on Sci Fi Channel
Andrew Hampp | Advertising Age | July 31st, 2008

1-in-5 Marketers Say They Have Bought Ad Space in Return for a News Story
MarketWatch | July 30th, 2008

Nielsen Tracks TV Ratings in Chinese Subway for the First Time
PRNewswire | July 30th, 2008

Mother Says to Eat Your Soup (and Hum a Tune too)
Emma Hall | Advertising Age | July 30th, 2008

Brands Are the Stars in New Slew of Online Instructional Videos
Megan McIlroy | Advertising Age | July 28th, 2008

Kmart Gets Kids to Create Ads
Amy Johannes | PROMO Magazine | July 24th, 2008

Now ISPs Want to Serve You Ads, Too
Olga Kharif | BusinessWeek | July 24th, 2008

What's That Smell in the Movie Theater? It's an Ad
Emma Hall | Advertising Age | July 24th, 2008

USA Revs Up Product Integrations for Top Performers
Richard Tedesco | PROMO Magazine | July 23rd, 2008

Some Find Corporate Sponsorship of Walk of Fame Hard to Swallow
Alana Semuels | Los Angeles Times | July 22nd, 2008

Meebo Brings Ads to IM Conversations
Brian Morrissey | AdWeek | July 17th, 2008

Airlines Stamping Ads Onto Boarding Passes
Michael Bush | Advertising Age | July 15th, 2008

Sears 'Arrives' on the Social Networking Scene
PRNewswire-FirstCall | July 15th, 2008

Atari Creator Says Games Fertile Ground for Marketers
John Gaudiosi | Advertising Age | July 9th, 2008

Sour Patch Kids Turn to MTV Networks to Try Out I-TV
Andrew Hampp | Advertising Age | July 8th, 2008

It’s American Brandstand: Marketers Underwrite Performers
Robert Levine | The New York Times | July 7th, 2008

Telemundo Teams With GMC for Made-for-Web Soccer Reality Series
Laurel Wentz | Advertising Age | July 7th, 2008

New Deal Keeps Budweiser Name Before Eyes of Wrigley Visitors
Jim Kirk | The Chicago Tribune | July 4th, 2008

State Farm Brings Advertainment to Latinos
Ayala Ben-Yehuda | Reuters | June 27th, 2008

Phone Giants Roll Out 'Three Screen' Strategy
Amol Sharma | The Wall Street Journal | June 26th, 2008

Study Says Youth Are Swimming in Alcohol Ads
Jeremy Mullman | Advertising Age | June 24th, 2008

Nestlé Joins Gaming World to Sell Water
Claude Brodesser-Akner | Advertising Age | June 22nd, 2008

Coalition Urges FCC to Adopt Product Placement Rules
Steve Miller | BrandWeek | June 19th, 2008

MySpace De-Clutters, Clearing Room for Big Ads
Mike Musgrove | The Washington Post | June 18th, 2008

Southern Comfort to Create Branded Series on MyDamnChannel
Daisy Whitney | TVWeek | June 13th, 2008

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Stuart Elliot | The New York Times | June 12th, 2008

YouTube: You Created the Content, Now Sell the Ads
Abbey Klaassen | Advertising Age | June 9th, 2008

Sony's PS3 to Get In-Game Ads
Nick Wingfield | The Wall Street Journal | June 4th, 2008

Are Ads on Children's Social Networking Sites Harmless Child's Play or Virtual Insanity?
Meg Carter | The Independent | June 2nd, 2008

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Jonathan Birchall | Financial Times Deutschland | May 30th, 2008

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Matthew Futterman | The Wall Street Journal | May 28th, 2008

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Get Set to Have Ads on Board
Sarah A. Webster | Detroit Free Press | May 25th, 2008

Advertisers In Touch with Teens' Cellphones
Alana Semuels | Los Angeles Times | May 23rd, 2008

Advertainment: More than Sex and the City Cosmos
Press Release: AUT University | Scoop | May 21st, 2008

New Balance Teams With 'Sesame Street'
Eric Newman | AdWeek | May 13th, 2008

NBC and GM Form Cross-Platform Marketing and Programming Partnership
Press Release | May 12th, 2008

MTV Plans to Increase Its Blending of Ads and Shows
Bill Carter | The New York Times | May 8th, 2008

Kids' Websites 'Exploiting' Youngsters
Clement James | (UK) | May 8th, 2008

What's in a Name? Possibly A Lot of Money
Jeff Gray | Globe and Mail (Canada) | April 24th, 2008

Burger King Brands Subscription Mobile Games
PROMO Magazine | April 24th, 2008

Cinco de Money
Richard Guzmán | Los Angeles Downtown News | April 21st, 2008

"Kimmel" revives live TV commercials
AdWeek | April 15th, 2008

A-B Finds New Venue to Hawk Michelob
Jeremiah McWilliams | St. Louis Post-Dispatch | April 15th, 2008

Is Earth Day the New Christmas?
Natalie Zmuda | Advertising Age | April 14th, 2008

College Presidents Urge Elimination of Alcohol Advertising on NCAA Sports
Center for Science in the Public Interest | April 9th, 2008

Captivating an Audience
Lena H. Sun | The Washington Post | April 6th, 2008

An Online Game So Mysterious Its Famous Sponsor Is Hidden
Stephanie Clifford | The New York Times | April 1st, 2008

NBC, Fox in Pacts for Targeted Mobile Ads
Brian Morrissey | AdWeek | April 1st, 2008

Coors Signs New 10-Year Deal With The Colorado Rockies
Katherine Wegert | Dow Jones Newswires | March 31st, 2008

The Supporting Actor Wore Radials
Stuart Elliot | The New York Times | March 26th, 2008

Wendy's Putting Digital Ads in Bars
Emily Bryson York | Advertising Age | March 25th, 2008

Advertising Appears in Washington State Ferries and Terminal
The Seattle Times | March 24th, 2008

Got Milk? Taps MySpace with New Campaign
Amy Johannes | Promo | March 19th, 2008

A Meet-Up, Brought to You by Huggies
Stuart Elliot | The New York Times | March 19th, 2008

Online Games by the Hundreds, With Tie-Ins
Brian Stelter | The New York Times | March 18th, 2008

Another Thing The Doctor Ordered
Burt Helm | BusinessWeek | March 17th, 2008

Build-A-Bear Promotes Site on 120 Million Milk Cartons
Amy Johannes | Promo | March 14th, 2008

Indie Act Seeks Backup Brand
Charles Moran | Advertising Age | March 10th, 2008

Dade Schools Eye Advertising Revenue
Kathleen McGrory | Miami Herald | February 11th, 2008

Children's Playtime Now Fun Time for Big-Time Advertisers
Lena Sin | Vancouver Province (Canada) | February 11th, 2008

School Buses Latest Victim of Ad Creep
Adam Remson | Brandweek | February 8th, 2008

Time to Stop Undermining Children with Ads
Dr. Melissa Perrin, Psy.D | Pioneer Press (Chicago Sun-Times Suburban News) | February 7th, 2008

AdCamo Monetizes Web Page Backgrounds
Adam Ostrow | Mashable | February 7th, 2008

Portrait of a Young Consumer
Jessica Vosgerchian | Michigan Daily | January 30th, 2008

Robert McChesney's "Communication Revolution"
Stephen Lendman's Review | Baltimore Chronicle | January 28th, 2008

The Attack of the Ad-Sponsored Phone Call
Stephanie N. Mehta | Fortune | January 15th, 2008

Aim High: Ad Targeting Moves to the Next Level
Brian Morrissey | Adweek | January 14th, 2008

Video Ads Are Planned for Grocery Carts
Jessica Mintz | Associated Press | January 14th, 2008

Facebook challenged by ad-free rival
Mark Sweney | Guardian Unlimited (UK) | December 24th, 2007

Ad plans for Web run into privacy issues
Byron Acohido | USA Today | December 23rd, 2007

Sell Wrigley name? Go to Zell
Jay Mariotti | Chicago Sun-Times | December 21st, 2007

This holiday tradition is brought to you by ...
Jeff Martin | USA Today | December 20th, 2007

FCC Postpones Decision on Embedded Ads
Brooks Boliek and Gail Schiller | Hollywood Reporter | December 19th, 2007

Hear Voices? It May Be an Ad
Andrew Hampp | Advertising Age | December 10th, 2007

Internet Poised to Become Ad Stronghold
Rory J. Thompson | Adweek | December 4th, 2007

New Ad Venue: PTA Newsletters
Brian Morrissey | Adweek | November 29th, 2007

A Web Site for Pet Lovers, and Marketers Who Love Them
Louise Story | The New York Times | November 21st, 2007

MySpace to Move Into Ad-Supported Music
Brian Morrissey | Adweek | November 19th, 2007

What's In-Store? Lots of TV Ads
Eric Newman | Brandweek | November 19th, 2007

Ads Keep Spreading, but Are Consumers Immune?
Brian Steinberg | Advertising Age | November 19th, 2007

AOL Deal Marks Latest Digital-Ad Push
Emily Steel | Wall Street Journal | November 8th, 2007

Ad Networks Are the New Dot-Coms
Saul Hansell | The New York Times | November 7th, 2007

5 Newspaper Giants in Talks About Online Ad Network
Michael Oneal | Chicago Tribune | November 6th, 2007

Ad firm gives to Muni measure, gets S.F. contract
Robert Selna | San Francisco Chronicle | October 31st, 2007

Microsoft Bets On Facebook Stake And Web Ad Boom
Robert A. Guth, Vauhini Vara, and Kevin J. Delaney | Wall Street Journal | October 24th, 2007

Update notifier for desktop Java carries advertisement for OpenOffice
David Berland | Zdnet | October 18th, 2007

Babes in BrandLand
T.L. Stanley | Brandweek | October 17th, 2007

Firm Mines Offline Data To Target Online Ads
Kevin J. Delany and Emily Steel | Wall Street Journal | October 17th, 2007

Advertainment Greets Moviegoers
Laura Petrecca | USA Today | October 15th, 2007

Ad dollars flood Web, but will they go far enough?
Paul Thomasch | Reuters | October 12th, 2007

The Ad Blitzers' Facade
Tom Robbins | Village Voice | October 10th, 2007

Sony Launches In-Game Ad Unit
Kamau High | AdWeek | October 10th, 2007

Need a phone number? Listen to ad and get it for free
Alejandro Bodipo-Memba | Detroit Free Press | October 8th, 2007

Scent Noses Its Way Into More Ad Efforts
Stephanie Kang and Ellen Byron | Wall Street Journal | October 8th, 2007

Nude Dancer Greets Air Travelers
Associated Press | June 14th, 2007

What's in a School Name? Maybe Money, Maybe Public Service; Policy's in the Works
Jo Collins Mathis | The Ann Arbor News | June 13th, 2007

Congressman Proposes Ads on NASA Assets
The Wall Street Journal | April 11th, 2007

Here, There and Everywhere
Walter Kirn | The New York Times | February 11th, 2007

Garbage Trucks: The New Hot Spot for Advertisers
Jack Neff | Advertising Age | February 2nd, 2007

Anywhere the Eye Can See, It’s Likely to See an Ad
Louise Story | The New York Times | January 15th, 2007

Coming to an Airport Checkpoint Near You: Ads in the Security Bins
Thomas Frank | USA Today | January 10th, 2007

Product Placement -- You Can't Escape It
Laura Petrecca | USA Today | October 11th, 2006

...Or Your Ad Here, on the Sidewalk
Alex Mindlin | The New York Times | October 1st, 2006

Would You Like Fries With That Monopoly Game?
Stuart Elliott | The New York Times | September 12th, 2006

Blue-Ribbon Idea or Fairs Selling Out?
John Horton | Cleveland Plain Dealer | September 1st, 2006

Ads to Be Printed on Grocery Store Conveyor Belts
Mya Frazier | Advertising Age | August 17th, 2006

Place Your Ad Here, and Here
Julie Bosman | The New York Times | July 23rd, 2006

'Egg-vertising' by CBS: An Idea Not For Poaching
David Joachim | International Herald Tribune | July 17th, 2006

Blimp Company Produces 'TV in the Sky'
Travis Reed | Associated Press | June 19th, 2006

Advertiser Counts on Sheep to Pull Eyes Over the Wool
Doreen Carvajal | The New York Times | April 24th, 2006

As Sponsorship Sales Blossom, Public Radio Walks a Fine Line
Sarah McBride | Wall Street Journal | March 17th, 2006

Marketers Want to Appear on Small Screen
Matt Richtel | The New York Times | January 16th, 2006

Sony Ads Draw Public Ire
Jennifer Lin | Philadelphia Inquirer | December 28th, 2005

Dream of Having Your Name in Lights? So Does Your Iced Tea
Stuart Elliott | The New York Times | June 6th, 2005

On Broadway, Ads Now Get to Play Cameo Roles
Stuart Elliott | The New York Times | April 22nd, 2005

Personal Finance: Banks Are Heading Back to School; Credit Unions, Big Players
Jennifer Saranow | Wall Street Journal | March 8th, 2005

Dollars and Scents
Richard Morin | Washington Post | February 27th, 2005

Coming Distractions: City Council Wants Theaters to Tell Truth on Movie Times
David Saltonstall | New York Daily News | February 18th, 2005

Every Nook and Cranny: The Dangerous Spread of Commercialized Culture
Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor | Multinational Monitor | January 31st, 2005

A is for Atkins? Not yet
Greg Toppo | USA Today | September 23rd, 2004

The Ad Subtractors, Making a Difference
Vincent P. Bzdek | Washington Post | July 29th, 2003

Taxi Trap
Editorial | Boston Globe | June 23rd, 2003

Meter Keeps Running, And So Do the Ads
James Collins | Boston Globe | June 10th, 2003

Advertisers Hope Fragrant Posters Are Nothing to Sniff At --- Firms Target U.K. Consumers With Ads That Sing and Spray; A Whiff of Head & Shoulders
Erin White | Wall Street Journal | October 10th, 2002

Advertising Legalized Lying? Critics Feel New Style of Advertising Dishonest
Peter Jennings | ABC News | August 23rd, 2002

That Guy Showing Off His Hot New Phone May Be a Shill --- New Campaign for Sony Ericsson Puts Actors in Real-Life Settings; Women Play Battleship at the Bar
Suzanne Vrancia | Wall Street Journal | July 31st, 2002

Catch Them When They're Attentive, Settled in Their Seats and Eating Popcorn -- at the Movies
Karen J. Bannan | The New York Times | October 8th, 2001

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide from Ad Barrage
Greg Johnson | Los Angeles Times | July 24th, 2001

Ads Show Up in Unexpected Places
Michael McCarthy | USA Today | March 23rd, 2001

'Tis the Season to Exploit Children
Gary Ruskin and Jonathan Rowe | Holland Sentinel | December 2nd, 2000

External Links

Your Ad Here and There and Everywhere
Rogier van Bakel, Christian Science Monitor

Medical Journals Set New Publication Rules
Susan Okie, Washington Post | September 10, 2001

Consumer Resistance to Marketing Reaches All-Time High
Yankelovich Partners | April 15, 2004