Everywhere you look, an advertiser is bidding for space in your consciousness  and soon, the messages will know who you are and follow you wherever you go. Can you escape? It's unlikely.

If money makes the world go 'round, then advertising ensures that everyone on planet Earth receives the desired spin. Since the beginning of time, merchants have pitched, plugged, and promoted their products with unabashed fervor - whether they're selling paper made from papyrus or digital plasma TVs. Today, advertising is a $237 billion industry in the U.S. alone. In fact, it is so much a part of our lives that sometimes we hardly notice it's there.

This is prompting advertisers to use more creative and blatant methods for marketing their products. Whether you step into your local con­venience store or the great outdoors, you're almost certain to find yourself bombarded with messages designed to separate you from your dollars, yen, or euros. Home is no sanctuary, either, with ads streaming in from the mail, supermarket bags, radio, TV, and the Internet. Here's a look at how marketers are enticing you to buy, buy, buy.

AT THE STORE