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(Sunday) Most people think these titles are rubbish.

I've put a hit counter on my website. It's unlike the other one I toyed with in that all the information is confidential. Furthermore it shows no apparent plans of wanting to put ads on this site which is something I'm morally opposed to here. It has a tendancy to ruin things. The point of this site is that it is pointless.

Advertising annoys me. There's an advert for some credit card or other at the moment which 'borrows'* the mantra of a book by Danny Wallace called "Yes Man"**. The idea is that someone has decided to 'say yes more' and has gone and got a credit card. In the book this story is naturally a bit more interesting and more focused on the first bit, in fact I'm not sure the second bit gets much of a look in. It's perhaps a tiny element of the story.

I love the circular arguments that surround advertising. They're pure evil incarnate. It goes like this: adverts affect everyone, those who think otherwise are affected subliminally so are even bigger fools for thinking themselves immune. Besides, look at all the money companys spend on adverts! They must work or people wouldn't bother, these companys are really clever you know.

Lets look at this argument with the sharp edge of logic in our hands shall we?

Firstly it presumes itself to be correct from the word go. Everyone is affected by adverts. People who think they aren't are... wrong. There's no debate or decent explanation just a flat smug, you're wrong.

"But, I can't even remember who did the advert for a credit card that I'm having a pop at!"

"Ha ha, that's because it's subliminal"

"But, it doesn't want to make me get a credit card"

"Yes, but it's subliminal. Besides it might not have been targeted at you"

"Why on earth not? My money is as good as the next man's?"

"Well I'm sorry but look at all the money companies spend on adverts. They're not going to chuck that away for nothing"

This brings me to the next bit that has always annoyed me. Companies are in some way big and clever and they don't spunk money on f#ck all? Firstly their intelligence is presumed on the basis of their wealth. Socrates is reported to have been no rich man - but I'll bet he was a lot more intelligent than your average Chair of The Board. Secondly, I've worked for many big companys and there's nothing they do better than spunk cash on stupid follys. Sorry. The whole argument is bulls#it.

If you want to buy something and an advert tells you about it, i.e where you can buy it, how good it is and so forth, you may well go get it. If you don't, no ammount of adverts will make you, unless you're an idiot. But persuading an idiot to do something does not make advertising companies really clever. It just re-confirms the stupidity of Bovine Britain.

Urrgh! And another thing, it's the smug nature of advertising and the people who perpetuate it that really get me. Like some sort of cancer it rots everything it touches. Including me of course, given that I work for a commercial radio station. Ruined***.

NM

* I presume it's been borrowed rather than bought. If I knew for a fact it hadn't been bought I'd be saying it had been stolen. However I can't say that, so I won't. It may well have been paid for. It's unlikely but possible.

** It's a great book. If you haven't read it go get it now! I mentioned it loads on the old phone in show and still get email from people thanking me for suggesting it.

"Ha Ha, see, that's an advert. I thought you were saying they didn't work".

"F#ck off out of my mind! I'm busy doing the footnotes. You should have mentioned this before."

*** If you're someone who can't understand why someone in my position would slag adverts off here's the bit of the weblog that is solely for your consumption. Everyone else, look away now! "Hello great mates. The above entry is of course a complex double bluff designed to get people to think that adverts don't work on them whereas we know they do, in a subliminal way, right guys? That way I can touch base with the common people, keep in touch with the mainline guys and really help to move things forward with 'Brand Margerrison'. So lets all keep paying each other's wages, carry on cramming sauce into the gravy train and hook up at a celebrity party next week. Even though I don't go to them because I'm too cool for school. Great!" Shiver.

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