George Parker: The Digital Swill Pail!

George Parker: The Digital Swill Pail!

George Parker is the perpetrator of Every week he shares his opinions on the advertising world with PSFK

George Parker
  • 7 september 2010

Readers of AdScam will know that the header incorporates my favorite definition of advertising as stated by George Orwell… “Advertising is the rattle of a stick in a swill pail.” And although he said it more than seventy years ago, it’s even truer today than it’s ever been. Particularly as the swill pail is overflowing with digital detritus disguised as marketing messages.

My last book, The Ubiquitous Persuaders, is a fifty year update of an advertising and marketing classic, Vance Packard’s, The Hidden Persuaders. And, as I point out in my incredibly well written and fascinating tome, fifty years ago you could reach ninety percent of the unwashed masses, who might, hopefully be interested in the soothing properties of your raspberry flavored hemorrhoid cream, by advertising on three TV networks and placing print ads in three national magazines. This meant that before most of you were born, true Mad Men spent a couple of hours a day creating ads, leaving the rest of the day for such worthwhile activities as smoking, drinking and fucking their brains out.

Now you know where the phrase “The good old days” comes from!

Anyway, I was somewhat amused to get my new copy of Media, the glossy, hard copy version of, which is usually a pretty good read, to see that this issue is “Guest Edited” by David Skokna, of “Huge.” Now this is a company that enjoys a worldwide reputation, whilst having its global headquarters in a back room of Nathan’s Hot Dogs, in Coney Island. Oh, and in common with most “Agencies of the Future” they make a big point of featuring on their Web site the fact that their employees bring their fucking dogs to work!

But, cutting to the chase… This Skokna edited issue of Media is all about “SuperConsumers,” which after you have waded through the turgid prose of the various writers, seem to be a class of people aged between three and eighteen… And, the message is that if you don’t aim ALL your efforts towards them, you are destined to spend the rest of your life living on the beach behind the Coney Island Nathan’s shack. Yet, no one seems to question where these douchenozzles get their money from to buy all this shit they claim to indulge in through the digital bazaar. Unless, you are as clever as one featured seventeen year old, who doesn’t have a job, go to school, or have a credit card, who texts and tweets several thousand times a day, then when he decides to buy a Ferrari or some other shit on-line (because he wouldn’t be caught dead in a store,) it’s no problem, ‘cos he’s memorized all of his parents credit card numbers. Now that’s what I call a “SuperConsumer!” His parents should kill the little fucker. But they’ll probably just extend the cards credit limits.

I blame it all on Ubiquity… Both in advertising and computing – What we used to call digital shit – “Ubiquitous Computing” was first talked about twenty odd years ago at PARC. As usual, Xerox did fuck all with it. But now it’s all around us, as is the resulting advertising. AdTards will tell you that today; it’s all about giving consumer’s choice and the ability to engage in conversations with brands.

That’s bullshit… Because, it’s all about turning “SuperConsumers” into “SuperSuckers” by making it way too easy for them to buy shit they don’t need and very probably can’t afford. But hey, that’s what we do. Even if we bring the dog to work.

George Parker is a guest columnist for He is the perpetrator of, which is without doubt, one of the most foul and annoying, piss & vinegar ad blogs on the planet. He is the author of MadScam and his new book, The Ubiquitous Persuaders, which is currently setting the ether ablaze (and which you can order now on Amazon). He will continue to relentlessly promote the crap out of it until you are forced to stab yourself in the eyes with knitting needles.


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Neil Blumenthal

Retail, E-Commerce, Fashion

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology october 21, 2016

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.