Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth’s 1953 The Space Merchants is a near-future SF satire. It was followed by The Merchant’s War, written by Pohl alone.
Earth is a utopia. Population continues to soar and with it the economy explodes unchecked. True, supporting such a vast economic enterprise demands bold solutions to the challenge of dwindling resources, but only the worst sort of Consie—the Conservationists, lowest of the low — would object. Nation-states are guided by what best serves the corporations who effectively own the governments. At the top of this most perfect society sit the advertising experts who shape opinion.
Mitch Courtenay, a Fowler Schocken Associates advertising agency star-class copywriter, is one of the elite. He has his own lavish two-bedroom apartment, can afford unreconstituted food, and enjoys the confidence of Fowler Schocken himself. He is, in other words, a man on his way up.
There are one or two tiny flaws in his idyllic life.