Calendar Girl (kirilaw) wrote,
Calendar Girl

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An observation about commercials

I spent the weekend at my parents' house, visiting and taking a break
from the city (and also staying well clear of the renovations being
conducted on the house in which I live, but that's another story). My
parents have recently gotten a new TV -- one of those widescreen flat
ones, all shiny and impressive -- and, as part of the TV package,
they've gotten a one-year subscription to HD (High Definition)
television, and the digital video recorder thingy that is the Canadian
equivalent of Tivo. Being clever people, they are of course aware that
it is all a clever plot to get them hooked, so that they'll start paying
for the subscription once the free trial runs out.

Now, apparently the high-definition feeds come straight from the US
channels, rather than through Canadian networks (I would think the CRTC would have an
issue with that, but anyway). So they get the American commercials
(usually, the Canadian networks broadcast Canadian commercials over top,
so we don't see the US ones). I was watching some police dramas with my
dad, and... wow. The difference between the kinds of things being
advertised is striking. Most striking is the incredible number of drug
ads on the American networks[*].

I had no idea they were so ubiquitous. There were at least two of them
in every commercial break. Most of them were either for treatments for
"ED" (erectile dysfunction), or were advertising a drug that was better
than other drugs because it had "no sexual side effects". And the
warning voice reciting all the potential problems...

I don't think I'd ever really grokked just how much of a big buisness
the pharmaceutical industry really is. I mean, I knew it --
but I'd never absorbed the idea until now. Wow.

[*] Canadian law prevents prescription drugs from being
advertised on Canadian TV and radio.

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