I believe people are pretty heavily influenced by advertising. Actually it bothers me slightly when people say that they aren't. Even a person who doesn't watch TV or listen to the radio, the reason they go and buy something at any store is because of an advertisement. I don't think that an item isn't worth anything just because its being advertised. People conform...but I don't think that's as horrible as everyone makes it out to be, its OK to be like other people. And besides people who are nonconformist are technically conforming to that stereotype, so in essence there's no way of getting out of conforming and that's not a horrible thing.
I think I'm pretty influenced by advertising. When I watch a television commercial for food, I usually really want that food. And if I see an ad for one store over another I will probably go there. I don't understand why people see this as a bad thing though. I am the perfect consuming teenager that society wants me to be, and I find this slightly comical but I don't know why.