Just suppose you’re reading a book or watching a beautiful sunset. Suddenly, an obnoxious guy pushes a big sign into your face. It offers instant bowel relief, grossly-overpriced cars, useless insurance, awful fast food, crooked lawyers and other unwelcome messages.
“Hey,” you complain. “I didn’t ask you to interrupt me.” The guy chortles, then continues to block your eyes with a dozen more signs, each with an equally offensive message. Most are the same tiresome words and images that have already been shoved in front of your tired eyes hundreds of times.
That’s what happens to us 24 hours a day. Worse, we’re sheepishly conditioned to accept it. They started a half-century or so ago as commercials on our 8-inch TV sets. And in case you haven’t noticed, today they’re taking over everywhere. In addition to TV, they now spread their unwanted pitches on our computers and smartphone screens.
In old TV days, comedian Jack Benny pushed Jello for two minutes out of his comedy hour, Bob Hope’s hour did two or three Pepsodent ads. Since then, commercials have gone from just a few minutes per hour to 15 or more, often pounding viewers with five and more offensive ads in a row. And there are the endless infomercials.
Early TV ads were light, often funny and not too intrusive. The intent of product pushers today is to beat your brains, ears and eyes until you buy their snake oil. The worst offense is that the exact same obnoxious commercials are repeated dozen of times daily for months, sometimes years.
How stupid do they think viewers are when creepy advertisers apply their old Soviet Russian brainwashing technique? They repeat, repeat and repeat the same pitch to aggressively push their insurance, cable services, phony medical miracles, fat-reducing pills, greasy fast food and overpriced cars.
Car makers and dealers haven’t changed since early TV days. They were crooks then, and still are, but now they use even more clever ways to rob buyers, such as the money back scam. For example, when you purchase your new $25,000 gas guzzler, the ads say the dealer will generously give you $1,500.
Hey, wait a minute, let me get this straight. You promise you’ll give me back some of my own money I’ve just paid you. Duh, wouldn’t it be much simpler if you just charged me $23,500 for the car? Or are you afraid I might read the small print a bit more closely, and discover the robbery you’re sneaking in?
We don’t need government regulations to curtail the ever-more aggressive, crooked and repetitious ads. We all know that whatever government tries to regulate inevitably just gets worse, along with some under-the-table bribes to our upstanding politicians.
Let’s hope the advertisers eventually realize that those never-ending sales pitches are having exactly the opposite effect than intended. Some of the most offensive are click bait online ads, usually titled ad content or sponsored. When you click into an online news article, instead you get tiresome ads blocking out your screen and invading your brain.
Decide you won’t buy insurance from an obnoxious lizard, toilet paper from Charmin, never use any product with never-ending TV ads nor get a car where the dealer promises to give you back some of your own money.
And no more heartburn from that Mexican restaurant chain that runs the same heartburning ad dozens of times daily. OK, get my message? If not, I’ll keep repeating it over, and over, and over…..