Link- “US Airways to place ads on sickness bags.” I wanna fwow up.

(Disclosure: I used to work as a producer/director in advertising, and I tried to make TV ads that were fun to watch, rather than repetitive and oppressive. That was a long time ago.)

I am sick and tired of advertising. I can’t go out without being surrounded by it, whether it’s dealer logos on the backs of cars, whole cars re-painted with a brand name on every surface, billboards, small planes dragging ads through the air… Even in stores, they have blinking LEDs to attract my attention to ads, ads on the floor so I can’t avoid them by looking down, and soon, ads on fresh fruit. There are ads on self-serve gasoline nozzles and on LCDs in the pumps, ads a foot from your face when using a public bathroom (some even with color LCD and sound), and more. In researching this, I found an article about elevator advertising, which detailed even more kinds of intrusive ads I hadn’t even thought of.

Now, ads on barf bags. At first I thought it was a joke. I thought, what’s next, toilet paper? I found out, yes, toilet paper is already used for advertising. How far into one’s private life moments do marketers intend to pry? Who is getting to paid to think of this stuff? Does anyone believe that, after emptying one’s stomach contents into a bag, the victim of airsickness is going to look weakly at the side of the now-warm, squishy bag, and think, “You know, I should really get that HDTV?”

I suppose we’ll never get any federal legislation to restrain advertisers, since somehow corporate speech is also considered to be free speech, and of course every lobbyist in Washington DC would be against such a law. Maybe I should just give in and “drink the Kool-Aid,” but I really do prefer the solitude of my own thoughts as an integral part of my pursuit of happiness.

Of course there are bigger issues at stake in the world, and this issue is pretty far down the list of many people’s priorities. Still, advocates claim advertising can negatively affect public health, that cigarette ads have targeted children (anyone remember Joe Camel?), and that junk food advertising is contributing to a new generation of fatties.

The opinions expressed in Steve’s Peeves are intended to entertain and uplift. They may not be appropriate for young readers or the satirically challenged. Parental supervision is advised.

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