more like bad-ison avenue!


Recently, the boundaries of advertising have shifted. Or, possibly, without cable television in my apartment, I am simply more easily shocked by the style and content of the ads thrown in my path through e-mail and regional sports programming. Questions:

1) Since when is it OK to be pitching hard liquor on television? Did the laws change, or was it just a sudden, across-the-board shift in network policy? At first, I thought companies were advertising the malt liquoresque knockoff drinks like Smirnoff Ice and the Captain Morgan's-brand-girl-beer in order to also hype the parent alcohol product. But now, I regularly see TV spots for Jack Daniel's, usually promoting the whiskey's age and quality.

The kicker is that each ad carries the tagline, "Enjoy responsibly." I'm not sure if there's really a "responsible" manner in which to consume Jack Daniel's, especially if the target whiskey drinker was inspired by a commercial airing before the 8th inning of a Giants-Expos clash. Really, a more functional tagline would be "Enjoy as responsibly as possible, while drinking 80 proof alcohol," or "Beer before liquor, never be sicker," or even "Please do not wet your pants."

2) In the pornographic spam e-mail I receive, why must the girls advertised be both Barely Legal and also residents of Third World countries? Regular American cum-guzzling sluts are apparently run-of-the-mill and ordinary; the porno spam community demands underage AND underprivileged erotic models. Does the simple act of masturbation have to involve a fucking Development Studies lecture?

3) Did I miss the breakthrough in the field of penis-enlargement technology that happened sometime in early 2002? All of the sudden, the AM airwaves and my in-box are constantly casting aspersions on my manhood, my ability to please a woman, and even my ability to go into a locker room with my dignity intact. Ron Jeremy's Law states that penis-enlargement power will double every 18 months, so I shouldn't be too surprised. I guess I didn't realize how dedicated these penis researchers were, working round-the-clock in their quest to aid the men and women of America.

On a more personal note, I don't believe in using penis-enlargement products that have been tested on animals, because that's just wrong. Unless it was like a tooth-whitening, penis-growing multi-vitamin with ephedra in it. How about it, penis scientists?

4) Why does the little boy look so scared in the Uniroyal Nail Guard commercials that run ceaselessly on Fox Sports Net telecasts? He's sitting in the back, his mom survives a flat tire, and he's clearly terrified. Huge, staring eyes, and trembling hands while the other children cheer. No one noticed this in any stage of production? Is this supposed to scare mothers and fathers into getting some goddamn nail protection for their goddamn tires? Seriously, maybe Child Protective Services needs to look at the dailies from that shoot.

5) Is Wendy's involved with the Mafia? First the "Where's the Beef" lady dies, and now Dave Thomas bites it. You're telling me this is a coincidence? Plus, the burgers are fucking square. Something sinister has got to be going on here, OK?


The rules about liquor ads on television have always been rather informal and vague, at best. The only thing that held back advertisers and media outlets from running all the liquor ads they want, in any time-slot they wanted was a "voluntary ban on liqour broadcast ads", apparently stemming from the FCC's role and duty to make sure that the public airways serve and protect "public interest". Most people would agree that not exposing young children to alluring and oh-so-cool liquor ads is in the interest of the public, since under-age drinking can lead to out-of-control behavior, car accidents, alcohol abuse/dependency, the use of other drugs, deliquency, alcohol poisoning, etc. However, as a strong proponent of the view that advertising has a much less potent effect on viewers than real-life experiences, even "impressionable children", whether these ads are run during prime-time or not doesn't really matter. What really encourages kids/teens to drink is the same thing that causes them to smoke (cigarettes) and you sure don't see cigarette ads on telelvision anymore. Everyone who grows up in America knows that you're not supposed to drink or smoke, that it's an "adult" thing to do and that you can make those kinds of decisions for yourself when you're old and mature enough. I think that when teens are attempting to break out into their own person and grow up, drinking and smoking is an expression of that search for independence and maturity. Only by breaking down that image and being honest with kids about drugs and alcohol will teen substance use/abuse become less of a concern. Sheltering kids and fighting to get such ads off the air is a misdirection of attention, in that hiding the issue or directing efforts toward removing ads rather than addressing the real issues won't make the problem go away.

yeah! what she said, plus kids should know by now that the true defining characteristic of adulthood is the practice of having sex every day with multiple, film-gorgeous partners without worrying about little problems like pregnancy, STIs, or the ethics of paying for sex with underage and underprivileged partners. Why won't the creative geniuses behind advertising and music videos realize this crucial fact? I mean, jeez, every time I watch t.v. it's a public service announcement telling me about the importance of voting, how to live happier by consuming less, and the path to spiritual enlightenment. Where is the full frontal nudity? Where is the prime time DVDA?

(btw, i'm so thankful that my friends comprehend satire and irony in general. what would personal expression be like if always taken at face value?)

Whoa, Cody, I can't believe you want more sex and nudity on TV... what the hell is wrong with you!? I find that personally offensive and I don't think that you should be allowed to voice your opinions anymore... and you should wear a paper bag over your head whenever in public. Also,those voting ads are soooo necessary in order to get future voters in the booths, because ads like those will definitely be able to override the giant wave of apathy and feeling of utter disenfranchisement and powerlessness that has swept the youth of America as of late. Everyone knows that advertising gets messages across as effectively as alcaseltzer's fizzing action makes regular ol' water a headache/stomachache fighting machine... plop-plop, fizz-fizz, suddenly I can't wait until the next election day...

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on May 15, 2003 6:33 AM.

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