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General News    H4'ed 10/18/12

Worst Radio Ads of 2012

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"Six: I'm the parking attendant. I park your car every day." So begins a PSA ad that lists all the people you come into contact with every day who are silently suffering from lack of food. "I'm the gas station attendant. I pump your gas," is another person on the list as are neighbors, parents you see at PTA meetings and families of kids your kid plays with. The ads are so eager to portray listeners as heartless rich people enjoying the services of downtrodden people, they overlook the fact that most people park their own cars these days and pump their own gas. Also, anyone who's had a low income knows a bigger problem than the cost of food is the cost of housing, healthcare and transportation.

 

Buy-A-Car-Or-I'll-Break-Your-Knee-Caps-Persuasion Award:

New and Used Car Ads, Assorted

 

Why do car dealerships insist on having their owners read the ads? Even though they sound like lower echelon mobsters who will fit you for cement shoes if you don't buy a car?   Even though for what they are spending on the ad campaign, a "real" announcer would cost peanuts? Why are new cars advertised at all with the price of gas escalating and half the world out of a job? And, even if someone is financially able to swing the car payments, gas, insurance, parking and repairs, who will remember the sales message after the 20 seconds of sped-up, rapid-fire disclosures at the end? ("Prices only good through"... pant pant..."must have credit score above".... pant pant..."after three months payments increase to"...pant pant..."see dealerships for details".....)

 

Do-You-Want-To-Be-A-Teller-or-Tell Jokes? Ad Award:

Bank Ads, Assorted

 

2012 was the year that Chase, Fifth Third and other financial institutions joined First American bank in the pursuit of standup comedy yuks. Wacky situational humor included golf mishaps, going into the surgical operating room and fast action adventures for listeners' entertainment. But there are two problems with money-related mirth. First, most people want the people entrusted with their money to be sober and in gray flannel suits not writing one-liners. Secondly, most people want their bankers to be financial conservatives who aren't spending money on high budget frivolous ad campaigns which could   show up as "service charges" in a monthly statement. END

 

Martha Rosenberg's recently published book, Born With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus Books) is available in bookstores, online and in libraries.

 

 

 

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

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