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Thread: Advertising

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    Advertising

    Advertising is more or less taking up the role that state-owned corporations used to champion: that of making available services to the public at below operating cost, or even for free. Think of the internet, television, or printed media. But what are the hidden costs we pay? Or are there no downsides?

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    Senior Member Thoth's Avatar
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    You have two different points in that statement that correlate, but can exist independently of one another.

    Strictly speaking, the downside to commercial interests running public services is social programming. Theoretically, a corporation has more impetus than an government to control service and product because it represents profit to them. It behooves a corporation to either eliminate or absorb competition to control the product or service where as ideally a government only does so out of public interest.

    More narrowly speaking in the current economic climate; corporations usually undercut costs of products and services by outsourcing labor to low wage countries with tax incentives. How does that hurt the "1st world?" Well, it has created a lopsided consumer culture that cannot recontribute back into their economy. The jobs are not there even if they wanted them. From the top down this causes a social profound social atrophy.

    That's the nutshell answer IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
    You have two different points in that statement that correlate, but can exist independently of one another.

    Strictly speaking, the downside to commercial interests running public services is social programming. Theoretically, a corporation has more impetus than an government to control service and product because it represents profit to them. It behooves a corporation to either eliminate or absorb competition to control the product or service where as ideally a government only does so out of public interest.

    More narrowly speaking in the current economic climate; corporations usually undercut costs of products and services by outsourcing labor to low wage countries with tax incentives. How does that hurt the "1st world?" Well, it has created a lopsided consumer culture that cannot recontribute back into their economy. The jobs are not there even if they wanted them. From the top down this causes a social profound social atrophy.

    That's the nutshell answer IMO.
    Good analysis, but you only consider the financial aspect. I think there is also a mounting psychological cost being paid by society. Naturally that is something that is impossible to assess but I still think it is worth considering. This is an eye-opening lecture on some of the cost to society that is not being talked about, and it is in fact my reason for starting this thread:

    It is impossible to measure psychological harm and you can probably never prove a correlation... but when you have no choice but to be subjected to advertisers who are deliberately targetting every weak spot they can find in your psyche then it becomes something worth pondering.

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    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    I think the OP is just talking about advertising subsidizing various types media (primarily entertainment media). I don't see too much downside as long as you are aware of what advertising is trying to do.

    It's interesting to see the impact the internet is having. I'm surprised anybody watches TV (other than news and sports) without prerecording it so commercials can be skipped (or downloading from torrent sites while that lasts). I think you can even perceive the difference - when I pay attention to commercial breaks, the commercials seem awfully repetitive (implies few advertisers and low cost per commercial run) and there is a lot of advertising of other shows on the network (i.e. space fillers for unsold commercial slots).

    OTOH, Big Bang Theory actors are receiving outlandish salaries, so a hit show obviously still generates good ad revenue.

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    Senior Member Thoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    I think the OP is just talking about advertising subsidizing various types media (primarily entertainment media). I don't see too much downside as long as you are aware of what advertising is trying to do.
    I will defer to the events that led to The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 and the fact it is easy to avoid regulation on the internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    It's interesting to see the impact the internet is having. I'm surprised anybody watches TV (other than news and sports) without prerecording it so commercials can be skipped (or downloading from torrent sites while that lasts). I think you can even perceive the difference - when I pay attention to commercial breaks, the commercials seem awfully repetitive (implies few advertisers and low cost per commercial run) and there is a lot of advertising of other shows on the network (i.e. space fillers for unsold commercial slots).
    Rather than an advertiser reaching you via a commercial break they instead force you to load, watch and/or take up real estate on the video provider's website. Increasingly web advertising is becoming more and more invasive because it is more profitable for a content provider to allow an advertiser greater reigns on how their message is delivered. More money is made the more a content provider can guarantee the advertiser's paid message will be seen.

    All that has changed in the leap from broadcast to internet advertising is the distribution model.

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    No, the OP is basically going: "won't someone think about the children!" (tm). But feel free to take the thread towards other places too.

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    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
    Rather than an advertiser reaching you via a commercial break they instead force you to load, watch and/or take up real estate on the video provider's website. Increasingly web advertising is becoming more and more invasive because it is more profitable for a content provider to allow an advertiser greater reigns on how their message is delivered. More money is made the more a content provider can guarantee the advertiser's paid message will be seen.

    All that has changed in the leap from broadcast to internet advertising is the distribution model.
    True. And those unavoidable ads are annoying. The 'real estate' ones don't bother me very much. Sure better none than some, but one has to be cognizant that the ad revenue is subsidizing the product. Given that, I'm prepared to tolerate non-obtrusive advertising.

    So far, the internet has not succeeded in being as intrusive as TV, but I know the marketers are working overtime trying to make it just as bad. They'll probably win in the long run so I just try to enjoy it while it lasts.

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