Having been in Spain for over six years now I’ve never missed British TV. In Lanzarote, apart from BBC World, we’ve got by with a mix of Spanish, Middle Eastern and American programming. Recently though, due to a move to the mainland we found ourselves with a Sky dish. It’s been quite nice to see a bit of British television again. However, I’m re-thinking that a little having endured the joys of Christmas television.
No, it’s not the bloody awful schedules that have me concerned. It’s Christmas, you know it will be crap! You expect it to be crap! And, you prepare in advance for it to be crap!
What has really wound me up is the advertising. My God what is going on over there…?
I can forgive the stupid slogans like;
“100% of women who tested out product saw results:” (May have actually killed them all, but it is a ‘result’ nonetheless!)
“Our diet pills – when combined with good eating habits and exercise gets results.” (No shit Sherlock!)
We’re all used to ad agencies talking to consumers like they are stupid. In fact we expect it.
I can even – almost – forgive Brad Pitt making an arse of himself by doing the Chanel advert. Who is giving that man career advice? He needs to sack his agent over that one!
What I can not forgive having seen a British television Christmas after so long, was the bullshit charity advertising and the prevalence of gambling websites.
Firstly, the charity advertising… Let me state categorically I will NEVER donate to the charities (usually with extremely well paid ‘fat cat’ executives) that think it acceptable to spend well meant donations on television advertising. No, I will not send two pounds a month to Cancer Research, or WaterAid.org (whose advertising I found particularly offensive as it virtually pointed directly at me, the viewer, blaming me for the poor little African kid it was showing dying of malaria). Nor will the Jesus freaks at the Salvation Army receive anything (not that they ever would see my money), and nor will the countless other ‘charities’ I saw adverts for over the Christmas holiday. It’s an insult to the people who gave money to these causes to put their donations in the pockets of the TV companies.
In a similar vein, on to the Waitrose advertising, which I challenged them on, only to be fed a load of marketing bullshit.
Here’s my exchange with them via Facebook.
About your Christmas advertising budget ‘cuts’ – ‘So we can give more to charity!”. Can you quantify that statement – what is the percentage drop on previous years? There still seems to have been a huge budget spent on both time and the product advertising around the campaign. Did you pay Heston and Delia? Surely it’s not a complicated message – you could have just used a member of staff. I don’t buy any of it!