Conceived by artist Ted Dave in 1992, Buy Nothing Day was the first of several campaigns launched by the Vancouver-based Adbusters Media Foundation (Adbusters) that have had impact internationally. The most famous is the Occupy Wall Street movement, the tenth anniversary of which was marked on September 17.
The publisher of Adbusters magazine, Adbusters Media Foundation is a pro-environment non-profit society that is anti-consumerism and anti-advertising. It describes itself as an “activist hub” and an ”international collective of artists, designers, writers, musicians, poets, punks, philosophers and wild hearts…smashing ads, fighting corruption and speaking truth to power.”3 Adbusters was born in 1989 when co-founders Kalle Lasn and Bill Shmalz’s bid to buy air time to run an anti-ad against a BC forestry industry commercial promising “Forests Forever” was denied by the major networks. They sued the networks, resulting in a lengthy lawsuit. In order to drum up support for the battle, they created a newsletter, which evolved into Adbusters magazine (now on Issue 157). Adbusters uses culture jamming to protest what they see as corporate control of the media and consumerism.