Apple spent $486 million on advertising in 2008 to hype things like it’s iPhone 3G and iPod Touch. Nike spent $255 million to $260 million the same year on just sponsorships of its celebrity athletes like Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods.
The companies that make most of the products in our home put so much money into advertising, argues faircompanies’ Nicolás Boullosa, because they don’t actually make the stuff they’re selling. Since most of the major companies use the same producers to make their products instead of competing on quality, they compete on marketing.
The majority of our clothing is made by a few major textile producers, like India’s Gokaldas whose clients include Gap, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, H&M, Diesel, Banana Republic, Marks & Spencer and Zara.
The marjority of our electronics goods are made by one of a few companies like Taiwan’s Foxconn known for brands like the iPhone, iPod, iPad, iMac, Sony Playstation, Sony Vaio notebooks, Amazon Kindle, Nokia phones and Nintendo Wii.
It’s not incidental that companies like Foxconn have dubious labor practices (Foxconn has been accused of sweat shop working conditions, an alleged iPhone-related suicides and for roughing up a Reuters journalist).
In this video Nicolás talks about these producers of all our “cool” stuff and one example of a company who has chosen to do things differently (Patagonia).