Bamboozled By Ads

"Are Americans more vulnerable to advertisements, and perhaps less skeptical about them, than, say, Europeans?"'s Sharon Basco asked Jean Kilbourne, author of Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel. "The only reason that Americans might be more vulnerable than people from other countries is that we believe we're not vulnerable," Kilbourne said. "There's such a widespread belief in America that we're not influenced by anything really, that you know, we're not culturally conditioned. And in a sense, that makes it more difficult for us to really see the kind of conditioning that does go on all around us. So it's a way in which -- and I think the advertisers really count on this -- that we believe we're not influenced, and therefore we're less alert, in a way."