I presume advertising works otherwise there wouldn't be such a big industry built around it.
Of course when the Puritans get their teeth into their latest victim the first thing they scream about is advertising. Be it alcohol, "fast food", tobacco, salt, sugar or electrofags [damn but that list is growing fast] one of the first things they demand is a ban on all advertising.
Here in Ireland cigarettes are effectively invisible and the only time you will ever see a cigarette packed is when someone takes a pack out of their pocket. Yet this is considered to be "advertising"? According to the Puritans, Big Tobacco lures kids into smoking by producing "attractive packets" with fancy colouring and even fancy box shapes all aimed [apparently] at kids. Now I'm not sure quite how this works as the only time they'll see these packs is at home, as presumably they don't hang around groups of smokers who have been evicted out of pubs and offices. Nevertheless the Puritans have this strange idea that one glimpse of a packet will drive a kid straight into a lifetime of smoking. If they see a film with just one smoker in it, 10,000 kids will immediately start on a fifty-a-day habit? The mere sight of someone using an electrofag will send people into a frenzy of tobacco purchasing?
So advertising must be an incredibly potent force?
I couldn't tell you how many advertisements I have seen nagging us to quit. Last night Herself was watching something while I stood guard with the mute switch to shut the ads up. Every ad break they had two ads for the quit.ie thing and some bloke in the last stages of cancer imploring us to give up the evil habit, so in the course of an hour, that ad was shown about eight times. Surely the entire population must be smoke free by now if advertising is so effective?
So why does a constantly repeated ad have little effect yet a mere glimpse of a smoker causes kids to buy cigarettes in their droves? By the Puritans logic, the sight of people not smoking should be sufficient? Just one ad on the television should do the trick if people are so damned impressionable? But then the Puritans insist on no-smoking signs being stuck up everywhere, so by the logic of advertising that must just increase the awareness of cigarettes?
If advertising is so incredibly powerful why am I not changing my car every couple of weeks? Why have I not booked ten holidays this year? Why haven't I got the latest mobile phone and the fastest broadband speeds? Why am I not eating yogurt by the bucketful? Why didn't I buy that lovely gingham dress that Debenhams are advertising?
Well, actually I did but I sent it back.
It didn't fit me.