Joe Thomson Advertising and the war on words

I’ve come to terms with the fact that advertising is an omnipresent part of life. And while I hate shitty commercials I realize that they are an integral part of television and the Internet in the “information age”. 

While corporations have every right to persuade you to buy their products they have no right to influence the public discourse through advertising boycotts moral judgments. By allowing companies to influence what is said on radio and TV, you give them the authority to decide what you can and cannot hear or see.  Am I the only one who sees this as a major problem?  I’m having a tough time figuring out what is right and wrong: whom should I turn to as a moral compass? Oh maybe the genius that created the fucking “Geico Caveman” will tell me.  We would be lost without the creator of the amazing Fabric Land jingle telling us what to do.

Supporting an advertising boycott, no matter how strongly you disagree with something on a show, is admitting that not only do you want advertisers to tell you what to think, but you want them to tell you what not to think.  That is a scary proposition.  Tell me what to think Coca-Cola. I need you to shield me from dissenting opinions that hurt my feelings. When did we become such intellectual pussies? Why are we so afraid of an opposing viewpoint?  And why do we need advertisers to be our parents?  I disagree with a lot of things I see on TV and the Internet so you know what I do instead of forming pressure groups that force others to conform to my ideas of morality? I disagree and shut the fuck up.

We all know free speech is an all or nothing proposition.  Our society pretends to like free speech, its something people say instead of think about.  You have to defend the repulsive and ignorant in order to secure a place that allows differing viewpoints to be expressed.  What you don’t do is allow morally bankrupt, over officious, profit maximizing, majority pandering companies to decide what can and can’t be said in the media. Advertising boycotts should be illegal; forcing companies to only pull advertising from shows based on ratings not tone or content.  Think for yourselves and seek out shows that promote a dissenting opinion from yours. It will either strengthen your belief in your views or enlighten you to better ideas; it’s a win/win situation.  I’ll get off my soapbox now and kindly shut the fuck up.

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