Re: RE: I understand advertising is necessary.
Generally with luxury goods, designer perfumes and so on at one end of the scale and things like commodity food and clothing at the other, that probably holds true. But I think a significant ad-spend occurs in lots of "essential-for-the-consumer" markets where the competition is just fierce and there is long term benefit in customer acquisition for the vendor.
Look at mobile phones and telecom/ISP advertising (most of us would say those are pretty essential in this day and age) where the marketing spend is phenomenal. Insurance is probably another example.
Doesn't mean I want to see those ads any more than other people's of course, and I block them all democratically.