Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Professional hatred (part 3)

PR / Marketing / Advertising
The sophisticated science fiction author H.G. Wells once said that, "Advertising is legalized lying" and I'm inclined to agree. I can't stand anybody who works in the field trying to portray something that isn't there or more likely trying to hide the truth from being known.Ever since the growth of media and the need to sell material items, the role of public relations has essentially made people not what they are.

Let's take a recent case study. The News of the World, one of the most trashiest tabloids (I'm not even going to call them 'a newspaper') in Britain, has recently published a story that Wayne Rooney, the England and Manchester United football star, had sex with a prostitute whilst his wife Coleen McCoughlin was pregnant.

Firstly to continue my hatred of tabloid journalism, this is a story that nobody needs to know. Not the general public, not the football fans, this is a private matter between a husband and a wife. The News of the World are just wasting everybody's time in order to sell newspapers by publishing a non-essential story.

However it has come to this stage where footballers and any other stars are required to be portrayed as wholesome members of society in order to sell products and remain in the spotlight. This is where the PR / marketing parasites come in. They have been whispering in Wayne Rooney's ear that essentially he has to be something that he really is not. I'm not saying I approve of Rooney's behaviour but if PR / marketing didn't exist, there wouldn't be such an outcry of this story. We would just leave Wayne and Coleen to sort out their own problems.

The same idea applies to any other major celebrity. I don't care if Tom Cruise is a crackpot who believes in Scientology and is married to somebody more than 15 years younger than him. If he makes good movies, that is all I care about. I don't really care if Amy Winehouse is a drug addict either. It's her choice and if she dies - so be it - but if she kicks the habit, good for her. I don't care if my local politician is gay/lesbian/black/white/rich/poor, as long as he/she can do the job honestly (which would rule out Tony Blair).

And to be honest, I wouldn't buy Twinings tea just because Stephen Fry advertised it. Nor would I buy an iPad just because Stephen Colbert whipped the device out of his suit pocket at the Grammys. I buy products because of their use, not because of their association.

Which leads me to advertising. I don't mind inventive TV adverts, which are mini films in their own right. The advertising I most hate is the inaccurate use or misuse of science in their campaign.

I have long hated any adverts selling formula milk. Any TV advert seems to claim that the formula milk has added substances to help children be smarter, forgetting to add the fact that most of these substances do occur naturally in your diet and there is no need for supplementation. Also advertising seems to portray drinking these brands of formula milk will instantly make your kids brainier, without mentioning the need of a stimulating environment, good schooling, an appropriate social group and parental involvement.

I often thought that parents should be drinking formula milk more than their children, since obviously they blindly follow anything advertised on TV.

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