BACKBITE

It’s that time of the month again when the advertising industry gets to chuckle at the sorry mental condition of the nation’s consumers.

It’s that time of the month again when the advertising industry

gets to chuckle at the sorry mental condition of the nation’s

consumers.



Yes, that monthly comic, the Inde-pendent Television Commission’s TV

Advertising Complaints report, has arrived, reminding me that there are

people out there with even fewer marbles than myself.



Take, for instance, the one about the Sony Minidisc man who jumps from a

bridge on to a moving train. A hackneyed stock shot from a thousand

adventure movies, the sort I used to watch in front of my mum’s fire on

a wet Saturday morning when I was a kid. But put a similar scene in an

ad and people cry foul, arguing that it could encourage children to play

copycat. The ITC, no doubt, put in valuable time deciding that such

fears were unfounded since the ad wasn’t shown around children’s

programming anyway.



Then there were complaints about the Peugeot 406 ad which shows a car

driving over a level crossing as a train approaches. Irresponsible and

dangerous driving, some claim. The ITC demurred, pointing out that the

driving shown in the ad was calm and measured and unlikely to prompt

drivers to go mad on level crossings.



It’s increasingly hard to take such complaints ser-iously, although the

ITC is, of course, duty bound to examine each objection. The problem is

that, all too often, when there are genuine grounds for concern, the ITC

is too late in its appraisal.



In this month’s report, an ad for Direct Line Insurance was considered

to be misleading because some of its claims were unclear. The ITC

decided the ad had to be withdrawn but, by then, the campaign had

finished its six-week run. It has subsequently been exonerated. But when

is the ITC going to spend less time dealing with complaints that border

on the ridiculous and, instead, concentrate on catching the real

offenders in good time?



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).