May 11, 2000

Ad hypocrites

Short note for now (more later), but I thought this was just silly. Check out this column over at Salon regarding advertising for the upcoming miniseries “Jesus.”

I am certainly flippant (glib and sloppy, even) regarding many religious ideas and precepts -- but only as they apply to me. One of the things I dislike about certain religions is that I have to believe what they believe or something bad will happen to me. This leads to the earnest proselytizing by these folks for my own good. Well, forget that. Sometimes I know what's good for me -- hey, sometimes I can even act in my own self-interest!

But CBS is refusing to air ads from because (and this is a second-hand quote): CBS will not air a commercial if the product or content relates too closely to the content of the prime-time entertainment program. If this is the case, the program becomes a program-length commercial. It then proselytizes the show or commercializes the programming.

What a load of crap. So there are no sporting goods ads during football games? No "issue persuasion" ads during Sunday morning talk shows? No ads for "ETrade" during CNN MoneyTalk? In fact, isn't the content of a show extremely pertient to advertisers?

And even worse is the hypocrisy CBS pushes when they fret about "commercializing the programming." Aren't we in the middle of May sweeps month, when the various "news" programs will issue some sensationalistic headline commercials to get people to watch and, in the end, say, "Well, actually, everything is ok."

Despite the fact that I don't agree with them, these folks should be allowed to advertise on this miniseries. It's just silly not to. Not that I'll be watching :)

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