Tuesday, July 10, 2012

'Educational' advertising

Recently I was reading a magazine and saw an ad that really got me ticked off:  Domtar, a pulp and paper company, was advertising paper as a more educational alternative to computers.  You see, the children can't learn properly if they are using computers and will spend all their time searching for pornography and celebrity news.  The only way to save them from themselves is to encourage them to use paper ... lots of paper!  We guarantee big educational returns, guaranteed. (Not a guarantee.)

It isn't like there aren't bazillions of other ads out there which are much worse.  The most common ads I see on the internet are for muscle pills that don't work, slimming pills that don't work, and being a fall guy for credit card thieves.  Hell, even ads for things where you actually get what you expect like Coke or McDonalds are awful - it isn't like ads pushing garbage are hard to find.  After all, if you are selling garbage you really *need* those ads!

The thing that gets me is when companies make ads that read sort of like an independent magazine article written by a scientician and try to act like they are giving a public service announcement instead of an ad.  Maybe it isn't really any different than implicitly suggesting that scantily scad curvaceous eighteen year old women will mob you if you drink this cola / use this body spray / whatever but the corruption of objective reporting and the hijacking of real science with 'sciency' talk is infuriating to me.

The moral of the story is that if ads are going to lie to me I want them to really outright lie.  None of that squirrelly sneaking lying by pretending to be impartial; just promise me the babes, the cash, and the body of a Greek god and I promise to keep my irritation down to a rolling boil.

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