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If You Do Not Read this Column, Something VERY Bad Will Happen: Unethical Marketing 101

Brian VaszilyAbout
Brian Vaszily

Brian Vaszily (pronounced "vay zlee") is a bestselling author, positive change advocate, speaker/organizer and sometimes funny guy whose life mission is to help others explore, experience and enjoy life more intensely while bypassing the traps that would hamper that goal -- particularly unscrupulous marketing and rampant consumerism.

Brian is the founder of, has authored several books including the acclaimed novella Beyond Stone and Steel (see for some reviews), and with over fourteen years of marketing management experience is President of the TopMarketingPro consultancy.

In addition to his How We Get You columns here at SixWise, Brian also leads the popular blog, "The 'Live Deeper' Blog by Brian Vaszily." He has appeared on many TV and radio shows and been quoted in many publications regarding his books, columns, articles and ideas. Brian Vaszily was born and raised in Chicago, growing up on the northwest side in the blue-collar Portage-Cragin neighborhood. Brian and his wife and two children currently reside outside Chicago, Illinois.

Now that you started reading this column, if you do not read it all the way through to its end, something very bad might happen to you. An errant asteroid might strike you. A pack of rabid squirrels may attack you. Something very, very bad. So you are urged to read this column through to its very end ... or else!

There. I am back to my old ways.

I am back to being a big player in the giant unethical marketing paradigm that now totally controls society and that -- by pulling your strings in nearly all walks of life for the sole purpose of increasing our profits and keeping us in power -- is destroying your health, your financial stability, and your quality of life.

Because, see, I am using the second-most powerful unethical marketing tactic of all on you (the most powerful being your disbelief at the extent of marketing's ability to manipulate you, covered in my first column.)

That is, I am scaring you. I am scaring you into taking an action that I want you to take.

Read this column through to the very end or risk the really bad consequences that fate may have in store for you. Boo!

Normally, as a big unethical marketer the action I'd want to scare you into would involve you handing over your hard-earned cash to whatever company I represented, or you voting for whatever candidate I was getting paid by.

But here's the twist you have already figured out: I am not really back to my old ways at all. I am your conscientious marketer columnist in disguise (cue hero music, please), violating the secret trust of my old peers in the big unethical marketing paradigm (cue sinister music) by continuing to reveal all of the disgusting but highly effective ways they con you out of your money, time and trust.

If you do not read this column through to the end, the worst that will happen is that you won't be reminded of why you need to be hyper-aware of the incredibly effective marketing tactic of scaring you. And so you may continue to get suckered to debt, distress and death.

Beyond missing this healthy learning experience, though, there won't be any negative repercussions thrown at you by the cosmos if you don't finish reading this column. At least as far as I know.

The Four Different Levels of Fear
Unethical Marketers Prey On

The #3 real rule of marketing that every successful unethical marketer knows well and that you dearly need to remember is, "Fear is the most powerful motivator of all. Hope is second. Scare them, and then sell them the hope."

There are four different levels of fear -- an A, B, C and D-List -- and the higher the level of fear that can be provoked in people, the more that can be charged for the product, service or idea being hawked ... the so-called "hope."

D-List Fears: Your Dishes Have Spots
On the D-List are the simple fears that aren't all that scary ... really more "concerns" than fears.

Nicking yourself while shaving your face or legs. A thunderstorm ruining your picnic. Losing a contact lens out in public.

Marketing and merchandising do play on these concerns, but because your emotional involvement is relatively minor, so is our relative payback.

Scare Tactics

Pharmaceuticals or fear ... which are you really consuming?

C-List Fears: Your Butt Looks Huge
Payback takes a giant leap up if unethical marketers can somehow associate the product or service they're trying to make you need with C-List fears. At this level it's all about your ego; more particularly, your fear of having your ego nicked, slashed or crushed, and therefore your hope of something (anything!) helping you avoid that.

People thinking you're ugly or funny-looking instead of at least kind of cute. People thinking you're as old as you are, or maybe even older. People thinking that you're annoying and dull instead of interesting and powerful.

In our egomaniac culture -- which is of course the culture the giant unethical marketing paradigm seeks to perpetuate -- it is easy and highly profitable to scare you and then sell you supposed "solutions" at this level.

B-List Fears: Run, Here Comes the Bird Flu!
Even more profitable -- and even easier, if the products and services we are marketing can be tied in -- are fears at the B-List level. These are the fears for your very life and limbs.

You might get a serious disease. You might be bombed by terrorists. You might go crazy. You might get shot by a gangsta'. You might die before you are supposed to die.

This is the domain of the most rabid unethical marketers: there is major power to acquire and massive money to be made by provoking these B-List fears and then selling you products, services, politicians, laws, etc. that will supposedly "save" you.

A-List Fears: You are Bound Straight for Hell
So what are the most elite fears, those at the A-list level? Though it has different names in different cultures, there is really only one: the fate of your eternal soul. Will you get into Heaven (or its equivalent depending on your theology) when you die?

And while some inside the various churches and religions have always commoditized their religion and attempted to control with it (while many others have fortunately countered them by going true good in the name of it), watch today's culture as closely as you would your favorite TV show: you will immediately see -- and increasingly be seeing -- the big successful unethical marketers tying every type of product and service imaginable to God and religion ... and preying on your fears in relation to God and "the afterlife" in order to get you to buy those products and services.

Nothing sacred indeed.

The Unethical Marketing Masters of Scare-Tactics

As in most walks of life, too much of something is never a good thing. What divides "conscientious" or ethical marketing from unethical marketing is a matter of (rather extreme) degrees.

I support and now make part of my living by shining a spotlight on the most important and beneficial aspects of products and services. I choose the products and services I will represent as a marketer as carefully as the companies that provide them choose me -- they have to demonstrate, in short, that they and their products are telling the truth, and so do I.

So when a product or service can demonstrably help solve or prevent a genuine problem that people worry about, not only can that be announced but it should be.

If you are in the market for car tires, for example, you deserve to know that the treads in Tire X were proven to skid less than Tire Y, and that Tire X are also proven to last longer than Tire Y.

You don't deserve to be emotionally manipulated by the unethical marketers, though, whose typical tactics would include associating Tire Y with a quick montage of different cars getting into a variety of terrifying accidents (fear at the B-list level), and then telling you about Tire X while on the screen a car drives safely down the serene road. As if all Tire Ys were destined to cause fiery auto crashes while all cars with Tire X were safe and sound ... as if many other factors might not also be at play.

And so the general advice to overcome the second-most powerful unethical marketing tactic of all may already be self-apparent, but nonetheless: monitor your emotional reactions whenever you are in the midst of any form of media.

As discussed in my previous column, How I Jolt You into Submission to Get Your Money, another of unethical marketing's most powerful tactics is to shock you into letting your guard way down, so stay aware of that and when watching "the news" or political speeches or TV shows or commercials, don't let your guard down.

Recommended Reading
(Some Previous Columns by Brian Vaszily)

Check Out All the Violence Here! ... How I Jolt You into Submission to Get Your Money

Why We're Living (FAR) Shorter Lives Than Ever, and What You Can Do About It

The One REAL Reason You Are Stressed Out, Sick, Depressed or Angry

Spin and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Proudly Protecting Profits by Scaring You

Monitor your emotions especially for fear and panic, and when you feel DON'T act on it ... don't commit to voting for the politician scaring you, don't make a note to buy the product that will "solve" the fear. Instead ask yourself "Am I being manipulated to feel this fear, and if so, how and why are the jerks doing it?"

I promise you that if you can teach yourself to do this ... especially when confronted with the unethical marketing masters of scare tactics that includes:

A) BOTH the Republican and Democrat machines

B) The pharmaceutical drug industry

C) The diet products industry

... you will "magically" find that you have more money, greater health, and far more peace of mind.

Now one more important thing: If you forward this column on forward this column on to at least two other people and encourage them to subscribe to this free newsletter in order to read all of my weekly columns, something very, very good will happen to you. I hope.

To get more information about this and other highly important topics, sign up for your free subscription to our weekly "Be Safe, Live Long & Prosper" e-newsletter.

With every issue of the free newsletter, you’ll get access to the insights, products, services, and more that can truly improve your well-being, peace of mind, and therefore your life!

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