Archive for category Media

Buyer Beware

Excuse my logic but the transparency of some advertising campaigns leaves me in stitches.  Some are listed below.

  • Ads for these erectile dysfunction (ED) medications.  The ad’s pitchman rambles on at the end of each of these television commercials with a hodgepodge of fine print, which he reads at breakneck speed.  “This product may cause drowsiness.  This product may cause lack of appetite”. You know the game.  However the one that absolutely leaves me laughing uproariously every time is when they tell you “if your erection lasts for four hours or more make sure to consult your physician.”  Do you think?
  • Cigarette and alcohol ads that urge the viewer to “smoke or drink responsibly.” Do the people who air this material really care if you heed that advice?  Maybe some do.  However, these companies are just trying to advertise their brand and get more and more people hooked on their product.

 

  • Other ads that do like the ED people I mentioned above. At the end of the ad, the speaker lists off so many dangers to your health, or other disclaimers related to the product and at such infinitesimal speed that only a robot would be able to remember everything the guy says.  It’s all designed to indemnify the company that makes the product from any legal action on your part if said product causes you harm.
  • Last but not least, those BP commercials that urge us to come back down to theGulf of Mexico and enjoy some “Gulf Shrimp.”  “Shrimp has never been better,” claim these ads.  I did a little checking on some scenarios.  White Shrimp, the Gulf’s specialty are bottom feeders. So you may think, well all the oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is on top of the ocean so no big deal.  This could be true.  Oil has a specific gravity which is less than that of water. So it floats. However, what I have read tells me that if lighter substances within the oil evaporate, the remaining substances in the oil will have a higher specific gravity than water and sink as if they were the Titanic.  Ergo, the bottom of ocean where the Shrimp eat gets affected.  There’s also another process known as emulsification in which mixtures of small droplets of oil and water occur.  These droplets can cause oil to sink to the ocean floor as well. The result is the water’s surface looks clean but the dangerous stuff lurks beneath.  Still want to taste that shrimp?  The government tells us all the shrimp is safe to eat.  Onetime EPA Secretary Christie Whitman told 911 cleanup workers they were safe and we now know what a hoax that was.  Are the shrimp as we’re told safe to eat or is this government misinformation?

 The bottom line on some advertising then is you had better read between the lines.

 

 

Copyright 2012; Greg S.

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“We Regret the Error”

Excuse my logic but isn’t the following occurrence more common than the media would have us believe?  A newspaper or magazine runs a large page one banner headline assassinating someone’s character or reputation one day.  Then the publication discovers it has erred.  So now it runs this teeny-weeny correction (ie. we regret the error) buried somewhere on page 16 where no one will read it after it has already destroyed some unsuspecting and libeled victim.

Now here we are in the internet era. Most people don’t even read newspapers anymore, much less read all the way to page 16.  But that leads us to a more important point.  The internet, a creation designed to give us the news in a millisecond, can also be guilty of this crime.  Writers of the wire services and internet service providers such as Yahoo and AOL are in a desperate rush to be the first to break a story.  Facts go unchecked. References are either anonymous or of questionable veracity but the story sounds like a real “scoop” to the writer so he goes with it anyway.  As for corrections?

I have noticed that the internet is often guilty of the same sin as the print media.

Furthermore, because there are no real safety nets in place for monitoring what gets posted on the web, many inaccurate stories or outright lies get published and are never atoned for by the author.   Look at this very blog of mine that you are reading now.  It doesn’t have to pass the scrutiny of a seasoned editor or a cautious publisher.

With this in mind, below is a brief collection of some of the recent hogwash that has made it to the internet, accompanied by this author’s take on the subject.  I think most sound thinking individuals who consider these would agree that we truly live in an age of cyber-silliness (excuse my alliteration)  Note: in keeping with the absurdity of these items, there is no order (ie. alphabetical, chronological or the like) in how they appear.  You could say I just shot from the hip on this one.

1)      President Obama was never a U.S. citizen and as such is ineligible to hold that office.  You think the CIA, Secret Service, FBI, Homeland Security or any umpteen other agencies wouldn’t have blown the whistle on this? C’mon!

2)      Bill Clinton is dying.  Everyone is dying a little bit at a time.  So is this really news? The big picture is that he’s not like three weeks away from it. He is still a vital, active guy, actively campaigning for party members, traveling overseas, etc.   

3)      Proctor and Gamble Company is a supporter of the Church of Satan.  Please. Liz Claiborne has also been rumored to support that religion.  This type of thing becomes like UFO sightings or the old witch hunts.  Soon they’ll be telling us that Microsoft is secretly implanting a computer chip in the brains of all newborns.

4)      FDIC is going bankrupt.  While there may be some validity to this story that began circulating in 2009, I like to believe that the run on banks this would create virtually mandates that the government would step in and prevent it from happening.

5)      Jim Morrison is still alive and living in South Africa.  I am an avid fan and love to think this true but given his lifestyle and the fact that the other Doors’ members are still alive, wouldn’t someone have heard from ol’ Mr. Mojo Risin’?

6)      The government is secretly withholding cures for cancer to keep population growth in check.  You think high roller VIPs the likes of Patrick Swayze, Peter Jennings, Farrah Fawcett and Elizabeth Edwards wouldn’t have been helped?   

7)      Various end of the world predictions.  Heaven’s Gate, the Branch Davidians, Y2K enthusiasts, and the new movie 2012 all have prophesized the coming end.  I still haven’t taken out life insurance.

8)      Celebrity deaths. Paris Hilton, 2007; Will Ferrell, 2006; John Goodman, 2005; Eminem, 2000, Lou Reed, 2001; Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, 2001 and Margaret Thatcher have all been rumored to have passed.  Incredibly several years back one guy got so excited over the reported death of Fidel Castro that he chartered one of those planes that tow a message behind it to fly around the Miami Beach area proclaiming the end of the Cuban Leader. When Castro was found to still be alive did airplane guy fly another plane around subsequent to that with an editor’s correction? What do you think?

 

 

Copyright 2009; Greg S.

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