What is Consensual Advertising?

Why does it matter? How can you practice it as a human, as a business?

Consent is defined as an enthusiastic yes from all parties involved. As a human, you have the power of giving and revoking your consent at any time. This can pertain to sexuality, to tickling and, I think, should also pertain to the advertising messages we receive every day. Clearly this is not the case today.

Consensual advertising is the practice of promoting and receiving advertising messages only with the expressed consent of both the company and us humans. This means you only get messages you say you want. This means companies don’t track and target you to serve you ads. This also means companies engage you as a real person, not as just consumer data. I believe our desires should be shaped only by our natural world, by our communities and by our passions alone, not by advertising.

Consensual Advertising is a unique mix of content marketing, local SEO, email marketing and web design wrapped in modern social justice ethics. It is an advertising format that favors small local businesses over multi-national corporations.

Why should we demand consensual advertising?

It empowers the full humanity of our communities.

Consensual advertising affirms people as humans. It acknowledges the communities we live in. It listens as much as it speaks. Consensual advertising must be driven by community, not just capitalism. Consensual advertising has the power to organize people around their interests and the power lies fully in that community.

Manipulative non-consensual advertising treats people as consumer data, not as fully human. It tries to create desires inside of people to compel them to spend their money. It tells us we will be happy if we buy their thing, not that we are happy here and now. It tries to connect feelings of happiness to a beverage so we go to the store and buy it. It creates a false world of disposable materialism, of desire, or social status tied to which car you drive.

To build an enthusiastic group of followers for your company.

With consensual advertising as your main promotional strategy, every one of your fans is a dedicated follower. They love you on social media. They love you in their email inbox every week. They are happy when they find your website and they stick around. The more you practice consensual advertising, and do it right, the bigger this crowd grows. That’s empowering for your business, and your followers. Organic growth is earned through consent and is not a commodity to be bought and sold.

It’s essentially free.

Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google charge you to connect you to their user base of potentially interested consumers. You craft a message and need to pay to push it out into consumer’s world without their consent. You hope some bite and start to follow you. That is the flow of money in almost all of these online businesses.

With consensual advertising, the focus is on being authentically yourself. By following the best practices of consensual advertising, and promoting content to people that genuinely want it, you need to spend very little money as people that love you will be self-motivated to share your content.

How to practice consensual advertising as a human.

To practice consensual advertising, you must demand it! You have the power to filter out all of the ad messages we receive. Turn off your TV. Use browser extensions to block ads and prevent companies from tracking everything you do online. Block companies that advertise to you on social media.

Most importantly, find your local businesses you love, who support your local economy. Subscribe to their email lists. Donate money to them or spend your money there. Choose local companies over national chains that don’t advertise consensually.

How can your business practice consensual advertising?

1. You need a responsive, searchable website full of quality content.

People are already looking for your business. This will help you find them, no matter what device they are searching from. You need to find your unique voice and update followers with blog posts. Make and share content constantly and consensually. This means you’ll need good SEO optimization and quality Content Marketing. Be in a mode of creating and sharing and people will be ready to consume it with enthusiasm.

2. You need email lists and campaigns.

Email is the medium of consent. People can unsubscribe at any time, but if we love you, we’ll choose to have your messages in our precious inboxes. Building and using email lists is the consensual way to stay in touch with everyone. Campaigns can share great news, sales, special offers, and build community.

3. Consensual Promotion Strategies.

Get your business on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram. Speak to those mediums and engage people. You can run Google Pay per Click (PPC) campaigns for search terms that are shown to people who are already looking for you. You only pay when a user consensually decides to click on your webpage and see your offer.

In Summary

This is a simple and powerful idea. I believe every marketing message should be consensual, meaning the power lies in every human to revoke their consent. It’s better for businesses, people and our economy because the focus is on meaningful communication within communities.

If you’re looking to align your business with the philosophy of consensual advertising, I can help! Here is a services I can offer you and your company.

Please email me at hey @ thelucasmoore.com for prices and to start the process of practicing consensual advertising.