Sunday, August 6, 2017

Should Some Advertising Be Banned?

Free speech should just be called something else.  It seems that such a thing is constantly under assault, leaving us to wonder if it really exists. Free speech now is more like sell out speech.  you can only speak on what is in one's financial interest. You can speak your mind, but don’t expect to escape financial repercussions.  Well, in London, it’s gotten worse with its passing of a new restriction on advertising.

The Advertising Standards Authority in London announced it will ban ads it deems shows gender stereotypes in a negative way.  Which ads might not be protected?  Ads showing fumbling dads, frazzled wives, or outdated workplace role perspectives will be abolished.  They might as well ban all advertising, for every image plays upon some stereotype, feeds off of some fear or desire, and encourages people to buy what they don’t need.  Most ads do not advertise the best products  -- only a few products are truly the best so that means the rest of the ads advocate for second-tier products and services, trying to dress them up as being as good as or better than the rest when they know that’s just not possible.

Advertising, to me, is like the news media, free to say what it wants. Just no lies is all that we ask.  If ads can be banned by a country, this, to me, is censorship.  And if the news media won’t run a story about an idea, company, person, product or service all the more reason one should be allowed to pay to advertise themselves.

Imagine if in the United States you couldn’t advertise your product or service with the message that you want to share?  A specific media outlet has the right to choose who it will accept advertising from but the government doesn’t declare a ban across the board on specific messages or the presentation of certain ideas.  The Brits should fight back.

USA Today reports that “The AJA does not have the power to impose fines, but British broadcasters are bound by the terms of their licenses to comply with its rulings.  The law will take effect next year.”

Sure, none of this seems simple  It gets complicated because as a society, we mean well in wanting  to prevent people from feeling ignored, ridiculed or victimized with messages of hate, ignorance, or negativity. But we can’t handcuff the media or advertisers.  How do we know what our views should be unless we’re exposed to many of them?  

In order to set limits, we first need to push past them.  Counter a bad advertisement with a good one. If you think an advertiser shares a lousy message, don’t buy its products.  But to ban ads never helps anyone.  We need to show tolerance, inclusivity and even acceptance for views that we normally wouldn’t embrace.  Advertising is something that allows not just companies to express themselves.  Consumers can respond with expression of their own.  

Get all ideas out in the open, debate them, and support theories you believe in by showing great tolerance of those you don’t agree with.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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