The article discusses consumerism from different perspectives. In the beginning the phenomenon of advertising is perceived in terms of the theory ofpropaganda. It focuses on the asymmetry in social power, where corporations hold great power of communication. With the help of the theory of ideology theauthor explains, how the systemic imperative of capitalism is connected with the "ideological interpellation" of an individual in the advertising process. The rise of new "culture-ideology", Holmes' "flexible personality" isclarified in the historical context. The author argues that consumerism and its practices have to be assessed through the critique of political economy - the flexible capitalistic system. In the end the possibility of the construction of a new critical theory in the connection with "antiglobalist" movements and the techniques of social marketing is presented.