The Sunday Telegraph carried in its business setcion a thingy saying “new ad curbs would slash TV income.” The gist is that proposed “controls” (it’s “for the children” of course) and a 9pm “watershed” for ads for the next things this gumment disapproves of will lower the share prices of the TV contractors further, and “cost the advertising industry” £250million.
ALL THE BLASTED STUPID MYOPIC BUGGERS, collecting their salaries for the now, HAVE MISSED THE POINT. They are heading for disaster, rather fast.
They will go the way of the cigarette manufacturers in the last century, as they will not make this fight a fight about individual freedom and censorship, which is actually what it is.
In a market-civilisation, advertising is essential to individual liberty. Advertising a good product, or one which people want, ensures its success. Advertising a bad product causes it to be garotted fast and relatively painlessly, except for the maker who chiefly suffers, but that’s freedom for you.
Socialists and other Nazis can’t take this at all. They are so hung up on “planning” and direction of masses of people that they just can’t see that successful advetising means there has to have been a successful and wanted product, which people, er, wanted. If they did not want it, they would not buy it. They even teach my students that “advertising makes people buy things they don’t want or need.” Yes, they do, in England, in 2007. It’s difficult to combat except one-2-one, when you can use logic and reason, but you can do it, slowly. (But that’s not enough.)
Many of you here know the pre-capitalist societies of Central and Eastern Europe pre-1989. There was by then little or no advertising – notwithstanding that there were rather few goods available anyway. This was not the fault of producers, who were not allowed. Totalitarian societies are characterized by the lack of goods and info thereof, and the plethora of State glorification of their leaders and “parties”. We are heading that way rather quickly in England.
In about 1980 I was asked with a good friend, now a succesful London IP lawyer, to draft a case for tobacco advertising, courtesy of Peter Marsh, of Allen Brady and Marsh, for whom I worked at that time. (Rod Allen died recently.) This would be presented to a committee of marketing directors of the major tobacco companies, in support of their opposition to an ad-ban. My friend and I came up with a liberal (I would not go so far as to say Libertarian) defence of any advertising including that for tobacco products, based on the fact that control of information, or its suppression, amounted to censorship. We said that if the product was legal to make and sell and own, then people who made it ought to be allowed to speak well of it. Any encroachment on their ability to do so would amount to suppression of free speech, and oculd not be tolerated in a free Market-Civilisation. Thatcher was young, FOREST was young, and they might just have got away with it while the enemy-class flank was unguarded.
Instead, the report was blown out. They said “we can’t get away with this”. They decided to try and contradict the medical evidence about lung cancer (not possible to do) and also to try to say “advertising is all about getting the consumer to switch brands”…”we can switch them to “lower tar” brands!”
I and my friend said we would recommend this plan if they took it up as they wanted to, as a recipe for utter disaster, and ultimate defeat by the State.
The rest, as they say, is history. (Our recommendations were not adopted, although dear Peter Marsh endorsed every word.)
So, now that smoking is almost outlawed, people, espeically poor people, drink heavily and eat nice-tasting food from hot-food-joints, to help distance themselves from the eternal hellfire of safety-socialism for a few minutes or hours more. The state-sponsored prevalence of post-Christian atheism means that they can’t expect anything after this life (the gumment says so) and nobody believes all those Moslems about all those virgins anyway, and half of the poor buggers are also non-virgin women and certainly not lesbians as they have children, so where do they go to, then? Hell?
So there is only tobacco (where still allowed) burgers and chips, and drink. Gambling will stop when they poor-buggers all run out of money, and as the state is bust there won’t be able to be a “weekly lucky chance benefit payment” scheme (to keep it running) masterminded by that man whose name I can’t remember but who is described as a “Chancellor of an Exchequer”.
There is talk that the “industry” will “work with” the gumment. That, alas, is what happened last time.
Those who do not learn from history will be condemned to repeat it.