This is a rant to tell you that I really love the country of Denmark. The Danes respect their peoples’ intelligence. Why? Because they absolutely forbid ALL TV ADVERTISING on their main TV network!
Yes, Virginia, there ARE places on this earth where you can watch TV completely free from disgusting and repititious TV advertising, or at least not to the extent we are plagued with it here, Of course, most of these other countries aren’t plutocracies, with corporations controlling virtually all forms of media as it is here in America. And they have governments who place their citizens first, rather than corporations, unlike what we see here in the U.S. in 2011. These countries all forbid misleading or blatantly false political advertising. They don’t allow announcers with shocked-sounding voices to lie to viewers about political opponents or positions like we see regularly here.
Aside from Denmark, take the United Kingdom, for example. The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is funded by a license fee and does not have advertising other than the occasional “Coming Soon” or upcming schedule, as we see here on C-SPAN. On the UK’s commercial channels, only an average of 7-10 minutes per clock hour is allowed (with that number trimmed to only 8 minutes between 6 PM and 11 PM). When running shows imported from here, the nearly one-third of an hour taken up by ads is filled with mainly trailers for other programs plus the occasional “advert.” Lacithedog, if you’re out there, feel free to verify this. In France, commercial channels are only allowed 9 minutes per hour for ads, with only one commercial break per hour if the show is one hour or less and two commercial breaks if the show lasts more than one hour. In Ireland, only 10 minutes per hour is allowed for advertising. In Germany, public television stations dominate most of the market. They, too, are funded by a license fee, and only allow commercials between 5 and 8 PM weekdays, and then only for 12 minutes per hour with a minimum of 20 minutes between each commercial break. Why the hell can’t we in the United States follow these examples and show a little restraint?
I long for the good old days of the 1960s, when hour long shows featured at most a minute or two intro and outro, at least 50 MINUTES OF SHOW, and only 8 minutes of commercials (with only 1 or 2 of them being shown in a row before the show began again)! Today we get a solid 18-20 minutes of commercials each and every hour, nonstop! What the hell happened?
We are being constantly assaulted and , more often than not, LIED to, by slickly produced, rapid-fire TV ads, sometimes by as many as 7 different afvertisers in one stinking commercial break (which often add up to as much as 3 1/2 minutes per break). Rather than having a thorough and meaningful COMPLETE discussion of a serious topic on news networks, for example,, guests are constantly being interrupted and/or cut short by the need for the host to “go to a commercial break.” Networks: I want all of YOU to give ME a break and stop this insanity! YOU ARE STRANGLING US WITH UNNECESSARILY STUPID COMMERCIALS!
I remember when cable TV first began to be offered in my area in the very early 1980s. One of the inducements to sign up for the service was that shows on cable networks were going to be commercial-free, paid for completely by subscription fees. REMEMBER THAT, FOLKS? Well, that lasted about 2 or 3 years, and then little by little, the cable networks began showing as many ads as the old ABC, CBS, NBC and local channels did! What the hell happened to user fees paying for the cable programming? And why have these user fees gotten so very expensive compared to what they once were, even though record numbers of commercials are being shown? WHAT THE HELL GIVES, CORPORATE AMERICA?
I swear to God, if, in real life, I ever meet the Phillips “Colon Lady”, Progressive Insurance’s overly made-up, pasty-faced idiot bitch with the horrible hair, or the square, oh-so-square Humana guy who irritatingly says “zeeeero” rather than “zero” for the call-in phone number he gives, I’ll strangle them all with my bare hands! And if I ever see a crazy couple sitting in his and hers bathtubs in a field or on a beach somwhere talking about CIALIS, I’m going to set them both on fire—and I am not a violent man! I’ve HAD IT with this bullshit!!!
I am sick to death of “call this number in the next 10 minutes and get extra freebies” ads that try and sell you dozens of other products once you’ve called in and won’t let you get off the line without buying SOMETHING extra!
What fuels all this nonsense anyway? According to Advertising Age, during the 2007-2008 season for Grey’s Anatomy, the cost to place an ad on that show was a ridiculous $419,,000 PER ADVERTISEMENT, while the typical 30 second spot during this year’s Super Bowl went for an outrageous $3 MILLION EACH! So what fuels all of this insanity? CORPORATE GREED!
Who is footing the bill for this greed? Why, every one of us is! Corporations don’t “absorb” the costs of these ads—they pass them on to YOU in higher costs for their products. That’s right—whether you watch the Super Bowl or not, YOU are paying for this outlandishness in every Coke or Pepsi you drink or pair of Nike shoes you buy! Every bottle of Bud you consume carries this hidden CORPORATE TAX ON THE PEOPLE!
We teach our children to not lie, and then we bombard them the rest of their lives with nothing BUT lies! What the hell kind of people ARE we, anyway?
Haven’t you, too, HAD IT with these TV ads, people? What are some examples of ads you absolutely HATE, and what can we do to end this seemingly endless cycle of outright bullshit we are exposed to each and every day?