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I Detest Advertizing

September 21, 2013

I suspect I’m in a unique position.  I don’t watch TV, although I do watch movies from DVD.  I listen only to CBC radio.  I don’t subscribe to newspapers.  People keep calling with free offers of newspapers, but I still don’t want them.  I read all the news I want on the web.  With these preferences, I have very little exposure to advertizing.

When I paid a visit to my parents recently, I did watch TV.  They were watching it, and there was not much else to do, so I did watch TV.  I was immediately assaulted by the commercials.  I was offended by them.  They insulted my intelligence.  Worse, they attempted to manipulate people.  I refuse to be manipulated.

I suppose that advertizing always manipulates consumers so that they will want to buy their product or service.  Ultimately, there’s probably no other way to do it.  I suppose also that most people are accustomed to being manipulated, and can defend themselves against it, at least to some extent.  I don’t want to do that.

The worst offenders are forms of advertizing that forces itself on you.  TV commercials take over the screen.  Radio commercials take over the sound.  I don’t watch TV or listen to commercial radio.  Some web sites have a page of advertizing that pops up before the information you wanted to see.  I back out of those ones.  Some videos on the web show a commercial first.  Sometimes I back out of those too.  Sometimes I just wait for the commercial to be over.

Some advertizing is less obtrusive.  Advertizing spread all over a web page is like that.  I never click the ads while I’m reading the article.  Advertizing in a newspaper or magazine is similar.  It’s easy to avoid too.

If I want some product or other, I search on the web for it.  Mostly I look for reviews, independant reviews of course, not just from people who have an interest in selling the product.  I strive not to be influenced by advertizing or brand names, although I’m sure I am influenced to some extent.  Sometimes I go to a store and look at what’s available on the shelves.  Often there are so many similar products that I can’t decide what to buy.  At least I’m not led into choosing one because I’ve just seen the advertizing for it.

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