Adbusters Media Foundation is a Canadian nonprofit media group founded by Kalle Lasn and Bill Schmalz in 1989, which espouses an anti-consumerist, pro-environmental message. It has led public awareness campaigns for more than two decades and helped introduce the idea of ‘culture jamming’ to a wider audience. Cofounder Kalle Lasn says that Adbusters is a network for “young activists who feel like we do: that the future doesn’t compute.”
Adbusters takes a multi-tiered approach to spreading its ideas. The group publishes a high-quality, full-color magazine that is often a launching pad for campaigns. Moreover, through the creation of memes and “mind bombs,” Adbusters has inspired and popularized international protests like Buy Nothing Day and Digital Detox Week. Adbusters is credited with starting the Occupy Wall Street meme—and, therefore, starting a movement that has changed the way people around the world talk about class and wealth. (NB: they do not take credit for the success or events of Occupy Wall Street after they launched the meme).
Adbusters has also been an early adopter in using social media and digital tools to spread its message. It mobilizes its large “culture jammers network” by sending out calls to action over e-mail and on its Twitter and Facebook feeds, with the intent of countering the message saturation orchestrated by corporate and commercial forces.
Their influence over the past two decades has been profound – and you’ve probably seen their work even not knowing it was theirs. In a world saturated by advertising and political messaging, their work stands out as subtle, powerful and necessary. Learn more at the links below.