Archived Story

Maddening advertising

Published 12:09am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

To the editor:
As the bedside radio music alarm comes to life at precisely 6:45 a.m., I am gently coaxed awake by the gradually increasing volume level, as another new day is jump started with the mildly hysterical squeal of a local advertiser, who seems confident that 60 seconds of aggressive, hard sell rhetoric, followed by a barrage of monotone 1-800 numbers, will send me clamoring for my cell phone, eager to purchase or subscribe to one of the maddening array of products and services routinely spewed upon the general public.
For many listeners, advertising is the scourge of radio and TV programming, while at the same time providing a major support mechanism with which to operate broadcasting facilities.
The ads themselves often involve childishly pathetic beg-a-thons, intended to appeal to the abysmally gullible, and annoyingly introduced, intermittently, into the now of programming, (somewhat like a fart in a space suit); an unavoidable consequence of commercial broadcasting. In my opinion, radio advertising is little more than a stench in the ear.
The letters on the “mute” button of my remote have now been worn away, beyond legibility, as a result of having been pushed so often in order to silence the advertisers.
One can expect these interruptions to occur at any time, and, in the case of talk radio, hosts and callers are often cut short in the midst of making an important point, destroying the thrust and momentum of the dialogue.
When you consider time reporting, station identification, local and national news, traffic snag updates, accident locations, weather reports, and relentless advertising. listeners are left with roughly 20/25 minutes of active scheduled programming each hour.
After hearing the same commercial repeated 100 times, in tandem with no less than four hundred 1-800 numbers, is it any wonder that listeners are inclined to despise and boycott those “product peddlers” who constantly bombard their senses? It has reached the point where people are more than willing to pay a monthly fee for satellite radio, or cable TV, to avoid having to endure these unwelcome intrusions.
In a society cluttered beyond belief with electronic gadgetry, you would think that people could easily research those products and services they needed on their own, rendering on-air advertising less important or perhaps completely redundant.
For those stations who feel that advertisers are an essential element of their continued financial success, on air fund raisers once or twice a year might be a possible solution, in order to satisfy station financial requirements, while giving listeners some much needed relief from the annoying drone of relentless advertising.
If show quality were kept at a high level, I’m sure people would gladly pay a few dollars annually in exchange for commercial free broadcasting…
– Mike Schermick

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