I can’t wait until I take over the world. I’m going sort out bullshit in advertising once and for all. We have laws that supposedly prohibit advertisers from telling outright lies (although they do it all the time anyway) but we need to take it further. We need to stamp out weasel words – the way advertisers are prone to use vague or even meaningless words that they can argue aren’t direct lies but whose sole purpose is to deceive us.
For instance, if I see one more ad saying sugary kids’ cereals are good for kids “as part of this complete breakfast” I’ll fucking strangle Sam Toucan. These things aren’t healthy no matter how you spin it. Full stop. The complete breakfast is a hell of a lot healthier WITHOUT the sugary additives. Personally, I like these cereals and I do let my kids have them sometimes but I want to smack the smarmy pricks who use such deceitful advertising. They should be forced to be honest: “If this is all you feed your kids, you may as well shoot them now because you’re sure as shit killing them. Let them have fun occasionally but give them proper food. This stuff is a sugar hit, it doesn’t meet any reasonable definition of food.”
And when it comes to adults, there’s the bullshit they push with “low-fat” food and snacks as well as “diet supplements” that are supposed to make you lose weight. They always throw in the line “with regular exercise and a balanced diet.” Guess what? You don’t need that other stuff! Just stick with the fucking regular exercise and balanced diet! I did an Angry News bulletin the other day on the latest study showing these “health” snacks are bullshit. It isn’t rocket science, people! Burn more calories than you consume (or consume less calories than you burn if you prefer to look at it that way) and you’ll lose weight. It’s simple fucking mathematics!
Sexism in advertising is a different matter. I honestly think people tend to get too worked up about this issue. True, advertisers would probably come up with some truly horrific insults to human dignity if they had no controls placed on them but the things people tend to howl about are pretty inconsequential. Particularly when someone wants to obsess over “reverse sexism”, i.e. and ad where women objectify men. Some people argue that if the behaviour was reversed (men objectifying women) it would be seen as sexist so it’s automatically sexist if women are being pervy.
OK, sometimes it’s true but it isn’t arbitrarily true in every case. If the status of women and men was equal then this argument would hold up but that simply isn’t the case. Men have the upper hand in almost every power relationship. The objectification of women is far more likely to be used as a weapon to take any sense of control away from women. With men, it’s far more likely that being objectified would be an ego boost. The simple fact is, in the majority of cases, men’s power is not threatened by being seeing as a sex object – their power is actually increased. Conversely, treating a woman as a sex object tends to implicitly (or even explicitly) undermine her competence in any other field.
There was one dumb as shit ad for orange juice in Australia that was taken off the air because it was perceived that in the ad the women were sexist to a man. The scene was at a gym with two women perving on a man wearing orange spandex. The image was that his butt cheeks looked like firm oranges and the women were repeating some stupid chant like “yes please, let me squeeze.” That wasn’t sexist. It was fucking stupid, to be sure. But it’s hardly likely to make many men feel victimised.
In fact, that will be my measurement for banning ads when I am supreme overlord. If it insults my intelligence, it’s gone. Are you using weasel words to suggest some benefit that doesn’t exist? Are you making irrelevant shit up? Are you using some computer graphics to suggest you have proved a point when you’ve obviously done no such thing? Is your ad just flat out stupid? Meet these criteria and I’ll yank your ad. And the people will rejoice.