In 2009 I already pubished this request on the petition site at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/multiply-tax-on-publicity-2x-3x/
Here just a straight copy for the moment just in case. Unfortunately not much follow up by then, hope to improve that now. Main change of focus: not just 2 or 3 times more VAT on publicity of the companies that are on the stock-exchange, but straight out 100% VAT so the corporations contribute (back) to society just as much as they are eager to invest in forcing their products, services or brands upon the rest of the world. Additionally this would compensate (very slightly) the enormous amount of money they don't pay, due to semi-legal tax evasion trough Tax Havens.
Multiply TAX on PUBLICITY for healthier economy and society!
Luxury goods in many countries have a higher tax-rate than consumer or essential goods. This same strategy should be applied on publicity.
To increase TAX on PUBLICITY (multiply by 2, 3, ...) in mass-media for multinationals and large corporations would have important positive effects on the economy and the society as a whole:
1 - More tax income from the ones that can afford it.
2 - Funds for social goals: education, health care, support underdeveloped countries, clean energy...
3 - Mentally healthier, less possession/consumption oriented individuals and society.
I have come to the conclusion that this so called consumer-society in reality is a producer-society. The producers (multinationals and other large corporations) psychologically force people into buying stress (consumerism) through an overkill of publicity, because of their need to sell as much as possible, only for some to make big profits.
The buying stress (to have more things than we all really need/want) is one of the main reasons why so many people engage(d) in loans they cannot pay afterward and as such publicity stands at the base of the current crises.
The buying stress is not just about each specific individual product that is being pushed through our throats by publicity, the whole of all publicity has turned into a global mindset, the buying/having craze:
Quite sad. :-(
The biggest companies are at the same time the biggest investors in publicity. And generally, at the same time, the ones that achieve most profit through lowest prices for their raw materials (minerals, labor, commodities...), typically in the poorest countries, and diverting from society to tax havens.
If these companies are so eager to spend money to push their stuff into peoples faces and lives, they should invest the same amount in society, by law!
The extra tax income this would generate for the state could (should) then be used for fundamental social goals on a national AND international scale to improve society:
This last point is, in fact: a (still too) small backward payment for the resources that the companies, directly or indirectly, "bought" from those countries for peanuts in the first place. The fact that most rich countries have done this for centuries is, in fact, the main reason they are so poor.
An important additional advantage is: LESS PUBLICITY!
Too much publicity is not good for mental health!
Not only is the public in general fed up with the overkill in publicity, it undoubtly is even harmful for the brain and mindset.
It does not add to creating a better society if people areinsistently stimulated to "have more stuff" and being told that having stuff makes you a happier person and more loved or popular.
This brings people to not having their priorities straight anymore.
Publicity does not only sell a product; it invades privacy, influences minds, changes mindsets and deteriorates values of both the individual as the society as a whole. The resulting unsolicited subliminal large-scale shift of priorities should be heavily compensated.
The tax should be implemented in different scales, depending on the size of company (small?, large?, multinational?, on the stock exchange??? or local entrepreneur?) and the size of the audience (TV, radio, press, internet, local media,...)
The bigger the game, the higher the tax. And I'd say in an exponential way!
An example of how publicity wantingly and consiously tries to spoil kids, or in other words, the next generation, the people of the future. From the documentary The Corporation.