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ads, ads, ads…

August 13th, 2004

Up to now I had never gotten and ‘blog spam’ — comments posted to my blogs by robots either advertising or attempting to solicit an email response to harvest my email address (or other net surfers). But in the past few days I have gotten four spam posts in my [ confusion.cc ] blog.

When I first looked at the emails that resulted from the postings I was struck buy the fact that I had received four comments in just a few days. Odd since I had only received two comments to the reviews blog ever before this. When I looked a little more I noticed that all four comments listed URL’s with the .ws extension. To of the comments posted on the same day listed www.3333.ws and the other two, also posted on the same day listed www.42tower.ws. Looking at the dates showed that each set of comments were posted in the same minute. One set on the 9th at 12:12PM and the other on the 12th at 3:48AM.

Spam email, telemarketing calls, ads on TV, ads at the movies, product placement in shows and films, billboards, adds on bananas… the list goes on and on and is only getting longer. Advertising is so pervasive so in-your-face and subliminal that you can’t live in the ‘first-world’ and not be bombarded by the words and images of people who’s sole purpose is to take your money. Not to make your life better, not to help you. There is no one in business either for profit or not-for-profit that really has your health and well being at heart. They are out to take your money and make their life better. Even ads for non-profit charities are just out to get your money. The only ads on TV not out for your money are mandated by the government.

Maybe I’m getting older, but I think ads have become more and more pervasive in the past ten years. Anymore the number of ads I see in a day outnumber the number of people I see in a day. I have to go out of my way to avoid them. I have to add my phone numbers to the ‘do not call’ list, I have to run anti-spam software on my website (which catches ~500 messages a day and misses about 7-10) and I have to install special software to block popup adds and regularly scan my computer for software which installs itself and shows me ads. I don’t watch TV because of ads. I spend a significant portion of my time actively trying to avoid ads. I must be an advertiser’s worst nightmare but the more they push their ads on me the more I run away.

Brands I like I buy. Brands I like that continuously push ads at me by any and all means possible I stop buying. I understand that in a free-market world ads are a necessary part of running any business. Profit is part of business. I just can’t stand the amount of advertising I am exposed to even with all the measures I take to reduce the number of ads I see.

Somewhere in central Africa there are people who have never seen an ad. They don’t know what Coke is or what a Big Mac looks like. They don’t have cars or cell phones and every time I see an ad for Viagra I get one step further from sanity and one step closer to wishing I lived there. And hopfully no one would ever drop a Coke bottle on my village. [www.imdb.com ]

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