FADS Marketing: Food, Alcohol, Drugs, Sex and the New Marketing World Order

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Whether it’s listening to radio jingles on the drive to work, or liking an influencer’s Instagram post, or tuning in on Super Bowl Sunday to catch the half-time commercials, we feel the efforts of the billion-dollar advertising profession no matter where we turn. Taking a closer look at the marketing and product development branches of four of the biggest industries of our time, FADS Marketing author Tony Harris leads readers through landmark events in the history of food, alcohol, drugs, and sex, takes detours through fascinating case studies of well-known advertising campaigns, and makes predictions for what the future holds. Although its title is darkly provocative, the book brims with optimism.

FADS is centered around the concept of “the middle path.” A term originating from Buddhist teachings, as the book explains, the middle path represents the largest demographic of consumers, those that lie between the extremes of, say, clean vegan eating and McDieters, or between strict teetotalers and hardcore binge drinkers. In every category, the middle path represents a hopeful future, in which corporate strategy coincides with customer well-being, to create products that are in everyone’s best interest. In the chapter on food, for example, it is proposed that cheaper—and more sustainable—meat alternatives, like soy, will steer profit-driven companies to develop products that are healthier for our waistlines and our planet. Harris has a similarly interesting forecast for the future of alcohol marketing, wherein non-alcoholic beverages hold their own against traditional booze. Even the drug industry, dominated as it is by fears of Big Pharma, and the business of selling sex, which has become increasingly fraught with complications, are destined for bright paths forward.

I am, however, skeptical of some of these claims. Despite lauding the moves of food companies to switch to plant-based fillers in place of meat, no mention is made of their numerous shady practices, such as the ever-increasing quantities of corn syrup and sugar being added to our food or expanding portion sizes helping to drive the obesity epidemic in America. And pointing to the introduction of a few non-alcoholic offerings to argue people will soon be giving up their beloved beer is an alarming non-sequitur.

Whether or not you agree with the theory of the middle path, Harris’ book leaves you with no shortage of food for thought. FADS Marketing is well-written with an entertaining, irreverent tone that gives laymen an insightful view into how companies get us to buy their product. How much of our behavior is influenced by someone trying to sell us something? A chilling thought, but one that will hopefully make us all more critical consumers.

Reviewed By:

Author Tony Harris
Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 193 pages
Publisher Amazon Digital Services
Publish Date 2018-Nov-09
ISBN 9781732907003
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2019
Category Business & Investing


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