Thursday, August 31, 2006


Time for a break from the book reviews.

I hate adverts; I'm very glad I don't have a TV. Even so, I get bombarded by adverts for this and adverts for that through my door and by e-mail. When I had a landline phone, there too. I got to the point of hanging up whenever I heard an Indian-sounding voice at the end of the phone. Sorry, but it's true. I know there are much funnier things I could have done, but I didn't usually have the time. When I do watch TV, half the adverts seem designed specifically to annoy, to lodge the brand in my head. The kingdom of Bhutan has allegedly banned advertising, because they've twigged that trying to persuade people they want stuff they don't have and don't need actually makes people less happy. Who'd have thought it?

Who do I blame for all of this? Not the advertising companies - they are doing their job. Not the government - I guess they could regulate it, but I think they're better off keeping their hands off things than messing them up. No, I blame the population in general, because it's our fault that annoying advertising works.

Think about it. If no-one ever bought anything advertised by spam e-mail, then there would be no point in sending it. If credit card companies tried writing to people to offer them their latest card, and no-one took it up, then they wouldn't bother again. If companies tried using annoying TV adverts which lodged their brands in people's minds, and the people decided to avoid that company's products, they'd stop the annoying advertising and work on better stuff.

Consumers of the world - it's your fault. If enough of us change our habits [and ruthlessly mock those who don't ;)], we can stop annoying advertising!


Anonymous said...

I'm not entirely convinced that consumer power would be a very practical way to stop advertising, but I can see your point. Just be thankful you won't lose your job for expressing it!

John said...

Yeah - that story was partly what prompted me to think about this. But then I forgot to link to it. Ho hum.

Anonymous said...

but the adverts on telly are the best bits!

John said...

There are a few good adverts - the Sony one with the bouncy balls, for example. I'm fine with them.

It's a pretty damning indictment of TV though if the most entertaining bits are the bits they have to pay to get on the TV, rather than the bits we pay for.