Adbusters Media Foundation

Adbusters Media Foundation

November 26, 2008 12:45 ET

Adbusters Media Foundation: Movement Gaining Momentum as Buy Nothing Day Approaches

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2008) - Now in its 17th year, Buy Nothing Day is celebrated by activists and average citizens alike in over 65 countries around the world. This year, as the global economic crisis deepens, organizers of Buy Nothing Day have vowed to tackle the financial meltdown head on.

As consumer confidence plummets to new lows, retailers, pundits and policymakers are scrambling to jolt an increasingly limp economy back to life. Prices are being slashed at the department store. An endless string of experts is appearing on TV, trying to coax frightened consumers to spend. And in Washington and capitals around the world, billions of dollars in "stimulus" are being handed out a day.

But this year, the world is not buying it.

Because this year, we're beginning to see how decades of reckless borrowing and meaningless consumption have ruined our economy. We're beginning to see how financial greed and government deficits have undermined the fundamentals of economic wellbeing. And most importantly, we're beginning to see that the neoclassical model of economic growth is a lie.

So this year, the organizers of Buy Nothing Day are urging the citizens of the world to channel their collective disgust with the current crisis into meaningful action.

"The way out of this greatest market failure the world has ever seen, is not to spend trillions of dollars to stimulate more borrowing, more consumption and more meaningless growth, but for the affluent one billion people on the planet to start living sustainably within their means," says Adbusters co-founder Kalle Lasn.

This year Buy Nothing Day celebrants around the world will be trying to drive that message home.

Check out the Buy Nothing Day action pyramid online for Buy Nothing Day pranks and shenanigans.

Check out the BND events wiki for actions planned around the world.

Editor's Notes:

(1) Buy Nothing Day facts:

- The first BND was launched by Adbusters in Vancouver in September 1992, based on an idea by artist Ted Dave, as a day for society to confront the issue of over-consumption head on.

- In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving - "Black Friday" - which is the one of the nation's busiest shopping days. Outside of North America, BND is usually celebrated on the following Saturday.

- Despite controversies, Adbusters managed to advertise BND on CNN, but all other major TV networks have declined to air the commercials.

- Though the decentralized nature of the event makes it difficult to pin down participation numbers, thousands of activists have held public events in over 65 nations, including most US states, Canada, the UK, Israel, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Norway and India.

(2) Shopping and consumption facts:

- Per capita consumption in the U.S. has risen 45 percent in the last 20 years.

- Although people today are, on average, four-and-a-half times richer than our great-grandparents were at the turn of the century, Americans report feeling "significantly less well off" than in 1958.

- An article in New Scientist featured research suggesting that the more consumer goods you have the more you think you need to make you happy. Happiness through consumption is always out of reach (New Scientist, 4th October 2003, Vol.180, Issue 2415, p44. Available online after registering at

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