Tuesday 1 October 2013

Even filthier advertising, but with bouquets for Channel Ten, VB and BM marketing for Jim Beam.

This week I thought I would return to actively moaning about something in real time, and those who know me well will already guess the subject, yes, commercial television.
On Saturday I was watching the Aussie rules grand final when alcohol ads popped up on the screen, the first at 4:13pm, then two more before 5.
I'd like to reiterate that I have not suddenly got a bug up my arse about booze because I am off it, but advertising alcohol during the aussie rules grand final, when a large percentage of underage sports fans, largely male, are watching, is, in my opinion, morally wrong.
Is it illegaI?
Well, no.
Although the times alcohol ads are shown on the weekend are listed as children's viewing times (see pic right), a staffer at Media Watch said in her email, "I'm pretty sure that sports programs, even in PG time, allow advertising for alcohol."
Of course.
There's always a loophole.
Anyway, I've contacted the broadcasting authority and the alcohol companies involved and will report back when I've been ignored.
I might add, when I began to do my research for this story I went to the Jim Beam, VB and Bundy Rum websites and they have a piffling security on the front to stop anyone under the age of 18 entering the site, and, on the Bundy site you can buy alcohol online.
The "security" on the Bundy site -
type a date of birth older than 18 and you're in.
This seems the height of hypocrisy to me, guarding the website, then advertising on free-to-air tv when persons under the age of 18 are watching.
Mind you, I recall hearing somewhere a good saying for those of us who take on something as almighty as the alcohol industry: "If you think you're too small to make a difference, try getting an ant in your wetsuit."
As a surfer I have had this experience and I can tell you that I knew that ant was there.
Whatever the TV stations and alcohol companies say though, (Most likely response: "Fuck off") I would like to postulate this, what if we banned alcohol ads totally?
We once had ads for tobacco and then they were banned, did that lower the sales?
People who wanted their cigarettes knew where to buy them.
Likewise with alcohol, if there were no ads surely anyone who wanted a drink would still know where to go and get some.
The bottle shop is still on the corner, the pub is still down the road.

Later Mail. 

I have to update things here and give out a few bouquets.
Jennifer Howard from VB got back to me, which as I've alluded to above, I didn't think would happen, and made this point: the marketing department at VB do at least create ads that do not have children in them, they do not use no cartoon figures, which attract children's attention, and ensure that their ads do not target children.
I made my point that I don't think that there should be any alcohol ads on before 8.30pm and to her credit, she said she would take this point on notice.
Alex Churcher from BM marketing who run the Jim Beam ads has likewise read my emails about the scheduling of alcohol ads and is likewise taking my points on notice.
Channel 10 have proved very receptive to my perpetual whining an have done two things, whether they have anything to do with me I do not know.
I asked channel 10 to remove those logos from the corner of the picture during programming time, they are not illegal, the ABC does something similar, they were just bloody annoying, and they have done that, the promos now appear for a short period on return from the ad break.
It is much less intrusive and has lowered my blood pressure considerably.
On Wednesday night the 2nd of October Channel 10 ran gambling advertising before 8.30pm.
I moaned to them on Thursday via electronic means and the next night there were no gambling ads on before 8.30pm.
Thank You Channel 10.
I then contacted the Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, the Hon Paul Fletcher, and asked him:  
"Dear Paul,
Currently there is a regulation to allow alcohol advertising within
live sports broadcasts, during children's viewing times, typically on
weekends before 8.30pm.
Is there any move to remove this loophole so no alcohol can be
advertised till after 8.30pm?"
So far I have not had a reply.
Bundy rum and BWS haven't got back to me in any form.

Anyway all of this moaning prompted Clinton, who's set top box I am currently watching, to say, "I'm gonna take that thing off you if you don't stop complaining. Anyway why do you watch commercial TV if it makes you so angry?"
His point is well taken, why do I watch commercial TV if it causes chips of enamel to fly from my grinding teeth?
Sadly, they are the only ones who can afford some of the shows I enjoy, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and the like.
I can assure you one of my most fevered wishes is that the ABC buy The Simpsons and then my eternal happiness would be complete, The Simpsons without ads, "Oh what a wonderful world".
Elsewhere, one of my favourite shows, Housos, on SBS finished this week, I was momentarily downcast, but, seemingly as ever with SBS, they replaced it with something just as good: Legally Brown.
I've reported elsewhere that Big Brother is one of my tips for the most moronic shows in history, The Bachelor competes, but even these two abominations are put in the shade by Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore, my only acquaintance with these is seeing the promos with the mute button on, but that is certainly enough to see how bad they are.
I am not trying to say bogans can't go out and drink heavily, I am saying that I'd like a few moments alone in a room with the cosmically-sized cretin who decided to film their antics and put it on TV.  
Thus, I was mightily impressed when Legally Brown did an exquisite send up called Muslim Shore.
If interested you can find it at http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/46943811570/Legally-Brown-Muslim-Shore
So in closing I will be monitoring the rugby league grand final this weekend and recording every alcohol ad that comes on before 8.30pm.
Then with my careful documentation I will officially complain to the station I saw it on and look forward to another week of being ignored.

As stated above, things have already moved on and I haven't been ignored.
Feels weird to be not in a perpetual state of whingeing!


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