Advertising-A Hidden Fee

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  jakelafort 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #44447

    Davis
    Moderator

    Many European countries regulate advertising. This ranges from fining companies that put on misleading (or downright false) advertising. The UK can be pretty harsh on false advertising as they should be. Spain has strong laws on predatory advertising. Belgium doesn’t allow advertising that particularly targets vulnerable groups/people. Most European countries place extreme restrictions on alcohol and tobacco advertising. They also force a minimum percentage of public-interest advertising. Some northern European countries even force networks to make it possible to present balanced advertising (i.e. if a rich powerful industry is putting out a certain message, than if a large enough group of NGOs counter it, not only must they be allowed to advertise, but it must be affordable considering the disparity of their funding. I know this whole concept seems insane considering near absolute US free speech laws…but trust me, after watching Northern European advertising (which is already stressful enough) I am utterly exhausted out of my mind (and feel like I’ve been utterly attacked to my brain) after watching 3 minutes of North American advertising.

    #44448

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen, I am referring to the expertise of the physician. When one’s life is on the line that is the bottom line. I know there are sites that review physicians. It ain’t like ordering a pizza or sushi at a new joint on the prospect that the many glowing reviews are legit. It can be life and death and recovery.

    I don’t know much about medical boards but i do know a little about legal. They are there to weed out the absolute incompetent and more often unscrupulous dishonest scheming attorneys. You generally gotta be some kind of fuck-up or have committed some fraud to be disbarred. From what i know and learned in my law practice the medical is much the same. They weed out the real bad apples. I have personal knowledge of a butcher surgeon that kept fucking people over unconscionably and the hospital he was affiliated with did nada.

    Ya think about it and a life and death decision is sort of up to the vagaries of fate and your impression. Often times it is an emergency and it is not like shopping a new car where you can keep the jalopy going another half year.

    #44449

    Unseen
    Participant

    @jake

    The conservatives talk like health care can be a “free market,” but how free can your choices be if (a) it’s an emergency or (b) your choices are opaque, or (c) too many (tyranny of choice)?

    Health care isn’t subject to free market forces.

    #44452

    Autumn
    Participant

    The alternative is to take a step backward on advertising. It doesn’t require the removal of advertising, but rather agreement to keep it within certain limits.

    Who’s going to agree to that, with everyone wanting to maximize their advantage in the marketplace?

    It’s a bit like doping in cycling. You have to dope to keep up with everyone else who is doping, but when everyone is doping much of that advantage is negated and risks to both health and career increase. So the advantageous scenario is probably that no one dopes out of mutual benefit. But our psychology makes it more like that we’ll opt for the suboptimal strategy.

    Granted, in advertising it’s not always clear what effect ads have. Pepsi advertises for Pepsi, but it may also drive a certain amount of business to Coke and vice versa. So there is potential for consumption to increase with more advertising even if the advertising isn’t yours. Yet at the same time we’ve created a pretty fucked up paradigm. The question is why should anyone want to maximize their advantage in the marketplace to that degree? Competition for marketshare costs money to maintain. At some point it probably does fall well in line with the doping analogy where resources devoted to that competition are basically counterbalancing or neutralizing each other. There is probably a balancing point where they could achieve as much impact with fewer resources.

    #44453

    Autumn
    Participant

    I know this whole concept seems insane considering near absolute US free speech laws…but trust me, after watching Northern European advertising (which is already stressful enough) I am utterly exhausted out of my mind (and feel like I’ve been utterly attacked to my brain) after watching 3 minutes of North American advertising.

    The one that really gets to me is the need for advertising in schools and certain landmarks. When I was in my last year of high school, the school was considering a Coca-Cola sponsorship. It came with new scoreboards (which wasn’t much of a boon since sports weren’t that big of a deal) and some sort of scholarship (which the first student to win it refused). Donations are one thing—companies make grants to education—but this was a sponsorship deal. For a school. It’s messed up.

    Once upon a time Toronto had the SkyDome. Now it has Rogers Centre. We had Science World in Vancouver which then became Science World at Telus World of Science (before thankfully returning to Science World). I could kind of see it if these companies founded and built these landmarks, but they didn’t. They just branded them after the fact. It’s tacky. Granted, it’s one of those things where the idea of it irks me more than the reality. In practical terms, it doesn’t rank that high on my list of concerns.

    #44454

    Davis
    Moderator

    Yeah…to be honest if Santiago Barnebeu, Wembley Stadium or Muray Field were called: Telefonia Stadium, Vodafone Centre or Bank of Scotland Field…it would induce cringes throughout the continent. That isn’t to say it won’t happen (may be inevitable) but the increasing sponsorship is not just tacky but culturally soul destroying. I am unaware of any European country having public schools sponsored (that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anywherevery well could), but you know…most countries simply give schools enough money to make this pitiful state of affairs unnecessary. To underfund a school to the point that they need a company that makes carbonated surgar water to give them money to put up their logo is obscene, grotesque, flabbergasting. I honestly don’t see how that would be any different to the NHS putting up logos of British Airways in the patient clinics to sponsor a bed or for Subway to put their logo over little villages town halls to sponsor some accessible drinking fountains. Dozens of countries adequately fund all of this without the need for sponsorship. It’s clearly not necessary. Most metros/subways/undergrounds in Europe (though definitely not all) have minimal advertising, and some that do limit it to cultural/civic advertising. Having a commute where you look up and don’t see agressive/predatory adds EVERYWHERE yelling nonsense and stupid crap at you…is extremely nice. There is a cost to all that corporate/marketing noise, socially, civically and even on one’s health.

    #44459

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Fellow Unbelievers,

    While false advertising is, of course, right out in a free and civilized marketplace, I otherwise look at advertising as an entertaing art form. If it’s for something I don’t use or don’t like, or if it has a silly way of executing it’s message, I’ll talk back to the screen like the wacky characters of Mystery Science Theater 3000 or RazzTrax. Life’s more fun that way than letting it stress you out. 😁

    #44460

    Unseen
    Participant

    @autumn

    You can punish false advertising, and should, but beyond that the incentive to work every angle and press every advantage remains. That’s true no matter what restrictions you place evenly on all advertisers in a certain market.

    Effective advertising works. Witness McDonalds and their marketing success vs. Burger King. BK makes a much more delicious burger. (If you don’t believe me, order a McD cheeseburger and compare it with a BK Whopper. BK is more like a backyard barbecue burger. Still, McDonalds cleans their clock every day.

    #44461

    Unseen
    Participant

    Fellow Unbelievers, While false advertising is, of course, right out in a free and civilized marketplace, I otherwise look at advertising as an entertaing art form. If it’s for something I don’t use or don’t like, or if it has a silly way of executing it’s message, I’ll talk back to the screen like the wacky characters of Mystery Science Theater 3000 or RazzTrax. Life’s more fun that way than letting it stress you out. 😁

    Most advertising largely goes in one eye/ear and out the other. I do listen well enough peripherally to be tempted to listen or watch better if they say something interesting to me. Other than that, it’s annoying or completely ignorable.

    Sure, marketing is ultimately paid for by the consumer. Not sure much can be done about that. No advertising is 100% efficient. As Autumn pointed out, when Pepsi advertises its product it is also promoting the categories of cola and soft drinks in general.

    #44462

    Autumn
    Participant

    You can punish false advertising, and should, but beyond that the incentive to work every angle and press every advantage remains

    At some point advertising is going to have diminishing returns on converting consumers. There is only so much fast food, for instance, that people are willing and able to eat in a given period, and at some point advertising more won’t really move that needle.

    What more advertising might do is increase which companies in that fast food space will hold the most market share. In a paradigm where only McDonald’s has the resources to effectively market en masse with a high level of resources, that would probably do the trick. But several competitors can punch in the same weight class. At some point they are just spending money to prevent the other businesses’ advertising from swaying marketshare. It’s not fighting for a gain; It’s fighting to prevent a loss against competitors who are doing the same thing. That means a potential scenario where these companies mutually doing less is a gain because they could be expending fewer resources for virtually the same outcome.

    Agree or disagree, it’s not that difficult a concept grasp. Responding they are incentivized to press advantage doesn’t address the point.

    #44469

    Unseen
    Participant

    That means a potential scenario where these companies mutually doing less is a gain because they could be expending fewer resources for virtually the same outcome.

    Have you heard of The Prisoner’s Dilemma? It’s a paradox in decision analysis in which two entities acting in their own self-interest do not produce the optimal outcome. For starters, the two businesses would need to agree to trust each other and then work together which (Jake?) I think is probably illegal under U.S. law.

    #44470

    Autumn
    Participant

    Collusion is illegal but companies agreeing to reduce advertising isn’t collusion. They wouldn’t be defrauding anyone, conspiring to do anything illegal, or engaged in activities like price fixing.

    I agree it is very much like the prisoner’s dilemma which is basically what I was getting at from the start. This comes back to an unfortunate quirk of human behaviour. In order to step back from it, it would require a massive cultural shift away from a profit-maximizing paradigm (though not necessarily profit-seeking).

    #44477

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen i assume you are suggesting violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

    I agree with Autumn that agreeing to kill or reduce advertising is not illegal.

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