Has anyone else noticed that most forms of advertising are actually paid for, in part, by the viewer of the ad?

You're buying the newspaper or magazine containing the ads, you're paying to watch advertisements on television (either through your TV licence or your DSTV subscription), you buy tickets to the movies, only to encounter more ads before the main feature. Even online ads are a part of this consumer-cost advertising - if you're paying for an internet connection, then you're effectively paying to be bombarded by banner ads.

Why should the consumer pay for advertising to be shown to them? - it really makes no sense. Shouldn't the trade-off be that the advertisers pay for the magazine or paper, so that the consumer can access these channels for free? If I have to sit through television ads that are being forced on me, why should I have to pay for them?

The answer is simple: If a channel is providing a paid-for service such as entertainment or information, then unless I specifically ask for it, there should be NO advertisements. If I have to pay for something, I want to decide what advertisements I want to look at, if any at all. Alternatively, if the channel is providing the service for free, I understand that somebody (advertisers) will be paying for it, and the trade-off is that I will be required to look at some advertising as part of the offering.

I'll accept that there are some forms of advertising that are not subsidised by the consumer, particularly outdoor, billboards, etc. However, those channels are also not offering anything other than an advertisement. In my opinion, the best forms of advertising (and the platforms are growing) are those that provide a service for the consumer in the form of entertainment, education, information or community upliftment that are entirely paid for by the advertiser. Nedbank had a billboard a while ago that generated electricity for lighting a community. Radio provides entertainment every day, almost totally paid for by advertising. Foozi provides free games of foosball for the community entirely paid for by advertisers.

At the moment, we are bombarded by thousands of advertisements on a daily basis, almost all of which are presented to us without permission. The more we are assaulted with this form of forced advertising, the less we take notice of it. We have to filter out most advertising simply because of this clutter. As consumers take more control of their entertainment, education and information channels, the advertisements that make the most impact will be those that are the most outrageous, memorable, are specifically requested by the consumer, or are providing a free entertaining or informative offering for the viewer.

Anything less than that is simply advertising spam.

You may also like to read: Influencing the Influentials or Advertise. Sell Stuff. Make Money.


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