I did the math, in my first year and a half in the US, I had seen more ads than in the previous 10 years living in the UK and traveling the world. Worse, in 5 years being here, I have seen more ads than in the rest of my life up to this time!
This is not just me becoming a grumpy old man complaining ‘there are too many ads on telly these days’ - both those things are incidental, and true. No, there is now an all pervading intrusiveness, a scientific, formulated, calculated, measured, tracked, assessed, adjusted, retargeted, incisor-armed, razor edged, irritating, ubiquitous, inescapable, oppressive, crushing, consistent, bombarding, weighty onslaught of advertising reaching into every crevice and fold of life.
Banksy may like to attack it, and for sure he has a point - well put and accurate, but he too imposes. His works (like them or not) are painted onto walls and roads - imposed on the public space, just like advertisers. I remember walking in Morningside, Bruntsfield, the Grange and Marchmont and a boy growing up in Edinburgh. Seeing advertising rare, graffiti was even rarer. Honestly, I miss that. That being able to be alone with your thoughts.