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Advertising: Where Will They Stop

By AArthur in News
Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 10:19:47 AM EST
Tags: You Know... (all tags)
You Know...

Advertising is everywhere today. On TV, on the Internet and on clothing. An it's getting worse all of the time. Today on TV, the average non-prime time hour long show has only 44 minutes of actual show, the rest are ads and promos. At prime time, that number is around 40 minutes. For high viewing events, that number is even less. Websites reguluarly carry banners that flash on your screen.


People argue that advertisements can be easily blocked, especially with new technology. Today web banners can be blocked using a proxy like junkbuster. Television ads can easily be blocked by taping a show with a VCR and fast fowarding through the commerical. Even easier, is using a digital video recorder like TiVO or ReplayTV. Both allow you to start watching a show at a delayed time, and then fastforward (instantly) through 30 seconds of commericals (since commericals are usually sold in 30 second blocks). This is far better then a VCR, which at max fast fowards at 6x speed -- meaning you still have to wait at least 5-10 seconds per commerical.

A recent study (not online) by the National Broadcasters Assoication. and NBC finds that fewer then 5% of people choose to evade advertising on TV. Their reasons are simple: It's a pain in butt to do (you have to set up a VCR or a HDR before you can do this) and people are too lazy to step out of the room while watching TV. Another result of the study is the preferred method of blocking ads, is very low tech -- people step out of the room to go to the bathroom or get a snack in the fridge.

This is probably why an advertising executive at NBC in a recent interview (Sound and Vision, March 2000) was totally unfazed about these new ad blocking technologies. He is confident that people will continue putting up with more and more advertising. But should he be? People are starting to say "enough with ads". I know several people who refuse to pay attention to ads; they will turn off the TV or block web ads before watching them.

Still much is riding on this issue, as a single broadcast of ER on NBC costs $13 million dollars, and the average evening news show costs over $1500. Advertising makes this possible -- but for how long?

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Advertising: Where Will They Stop | 73 comments (69 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
The sky is falling! (3.50 / 2) (#2)
by PresJPolk on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 01:57:50 AM EST

Advertising will exist as long as it is useful.

If people stop tolerating advertising in a particular medium, the price of advertising will rise to the point that it won't be useful to advertise there.

If people stop paying attention to advertising in a particular medium, then the return on the price of advertising will fall to the point that it won't be useful to advertise there.

For now, though, the average person doesn't mind tolerating advertising, because it makes things cheaper. The average advertiser doesn't mind things like the Junkbuster proxy, because the average person is too lazy/ignorant to set them up.

I doubt the day will ever come when too many people get angry that there is an entire industry whose aim is to change your thoughts and wants. So many people just try to follow "popular culture" so much anyway, that following advertising feels no different.

Advertsing helps reduce cost (none / 0) (#43)
by cable on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 05:29:35 PM EST

In many cases advertising can make the cost of something almost zero to the consumers. This is how Network TV works, and how some websites work. Even the free ISPs use advertising to make up the cost of providing free Internet service.

Without it, we would pay more for those products or services.

------------------
Only you, can help prevent Neb Rage!
[ Parent ]
Re: Advertsing helps reduce cost (none / 0) (#55)
by PresJPolk on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 09:22:34 PM EST

Right.

Look at auto racing. Advertising is unavoidable there. But, it's an expensive sport, so participants and spectators know they have to tolerate it.

One would hope, though, that advertising wouldn't be tolerated around events and programs for young children. Oh, well...

[ Parent ]
Re: Advertsing helps reduce cost (none / 0) (#67)
by driptray on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 02:26:45 AM EST

In many cases advertising can make the cost of something almost zero to the consumers.

But it nearly always raises the price of the product it is selling.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that the price of advertising is simply the annoyance of having to watch it - it actually makes the products we buy more expensive.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
I adore advertising. (3.00 / 4) (#4)
by tpck on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 03:59:20 AM EST

I simply love advertising -- honestly! What TV would there be without advertising? Granted there isn't much worth watching, but without advertising there wouldn't be anything on at all. Advertising pays for the shows you watch. Would you rather have a pay-per-view model? The pay-per-view channels here are outrageously expensive. Or maybe you like PBS style, pledge driven programming? Where they beg and plead for your money, just like all those stupid commercials on TV.

Advertising also powers all those wonderful websites you like to visit. Salon.com, CNN.com, Slashdot.org, whatever you visit, you see banners. Even Kuro5hin is now supported by advertising. Bandwidth and hardware are expensive. People don't want to pay to support websites, so they let advertisers do it instead.

Do you listen to the radio? How do you think they pay for all that? These days you only hear maybe 5 minutes of commercials an hour. Woopdee. That's a pretty good price to pay for free music streamed to you 24x7.

Whats the harm? Does it waste your precious time? Then avoid it. Don't look at banner ads, tape your favorite shows. Or deal with it. Spend 15 minutes out of every hour you spend watching TV looking at ads. Can you feel your mind being corrupted and turned to mush by the evil insidious corporate empires? Give me a break. If you are smart enough to understand the why the ads are there, you should be smart enough to look at them critically.

What's so bad about advertising? People have to get paid somehow. You can't have everything for free. If you don't like it, IGNORE IT. Turn it off. It isn't hard to avoid. Or look at it. What harm can it do you? You might learn something. You might learn about a new product or service that you need or want. Maybe you'll see a funny commercial that will brighten up your day. Maybe you'll hear a new song.

Maybe you think advertising has a negative influence on children? That it warps their frail little minds into worshiping the Coke or Nike or Acme brands. If all it takes to convert your innocent littke 8 year old into an addict of consumer culture is a few flashing pictures and a cheesy soundtrack, you've got to get them some help. If you are letting your TV tell you what to do... bad things will happen. But who's fault is that? The advertisers for warping your poor little mind, or yours for letting it be taken over?

I like advertising because I'm cheap. Advertising gives me lots of free stuff at no cost to me. What can be wrong with that? :)

Re: I adore advertising. (3.50 / 2) (#5)
by PresJPolk on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 05:26:25 AM EST

If all it takes to convert your innocent littke 8 year old into an addict of consumer culture is a few flashing pictures and a cheesy soundtrack, you've got to get them some help.

You underestimate the advertising industry. These people spend more money than you can dream of, every single year, figuring out exactly how to sway people. Youth are a major target, since they control (through themselves and their parents) a large amount of discretionary income. With that much money at stake, it's inevitable that the marketing experts will find ways to hypnotize, brainwash, and connive children into becoming consumer droids.

I find it shameful that people try to do it, but it happens. If I had children, I'd seriously consider banning their watching television, thanks to all the shameless corporations that would try to shape their thoughts, hopes, and desires.

It's not just children who get attacked, though. Think about how much advertising is quoted, and praised in "adult" society these days. Advertising (especially television advertising) for beer, fast food, and other unhealthy things are insanely popular. Think of how many drones turn on the Super Bowl, eager to be indoctrinated with the newest campaigns.

I've largely stopped watching television over the last few years, save for what quality is left on the air. With the hideous decline in The Simpsons, all I watch these days is M*A*S*H, Law and Order, and Lakers Basketball. I find sports in general great to watch, since the advertising comes in regular intervals, and are easier to mute. You bet I mute the ads, and don't even watch them.

If you doubt the power of marketing, think of how many slogans, jingles, and ad campaigns you can recite.



[ Parent ]
Pokemon!!! (none / 0) (#7)
by Commienst on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 06:25:48 AM EST

That show is engineered to turn kids to market droids. Remember when some lazy american parent tried to frivilously sue the pokemon card company for charging $5 a pack for the pokemon cards.

If you happen to watch southpark the "JaPokemon" episode briliantly satired children being brainwashed by Pokemon.

[ Parent ]

Re: Pokemon!!! (none / 0) (#9)
by feline on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 06:30:56 AM EST

oh come on, people know how to make money, telling kids that they should tell mom and dad that they're not good parents so they can pay ten bucks fora piece of cardboard plastered with funny colors and japaneze writing in the instruction manuals happens to be one of them. I don't see what the big deal is, parents are happy to pay a few bucks to make their children happy while leaving them at home so they can afford to buy the ten dollar piece of card board every other seven minutes.

Love for dough, the oldest profession...
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'
[ Parent ]

Re: Pokemon!!! (none / 0) (#10)
by Commienst on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 07:09:39 AM EST

Well in that court case the parent presented it like they had no other option but to buy the cards for their kids. If I remeber right she had spent a few thousand on pokemon cards. It was just another example of parents not wanting to be parents, to say no, no pokemon cards because I can not afford to buy you any more.

[ Parent ]
Re: Re: I adore advertising. (none / 0) (#8)
by feline on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 06:26:54 AM EST

I think you're being a bit to dramatic about 'shameless coporations' shaping your kids' thoughts, hopes and desires. Of course, it might shape their desires for material objects if their influenced by their friends at school, but who isn't at some point.

I feel the need to mention that kuro5hin.org is now a member of a coporation and adveritses. Does that mean they're 'brainwashing' us, perhaps we should ban k5 usage for people under the age of 18?
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'
[ Parent ]

Re: Re: I adore advertising. (2.00 / 1) (#32)
by rusty on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 02:40:52 PM EST

[rusty swings the gold watch back and forth slowly] "You will all be *really* impressed that you can get a FREE copy of Quake II. You will not notice that Q2 has been out for several years, and no one plays it anymore. You are all my consumer slaves. Dance for me, monkey boy, dance!"

:-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Quake II (none / 0) (#58)
by kraant on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 10:31:51 PM EST

Dammit I still have never played Quake II

I thought I'd finaly get to play it....

But it seems to be a NA only thing *sniffles*
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

Re: Re: I adore advertising. (1.00 / 1) (#45)
by PresJPolk on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 06:32:07 PM EST

I happen to run Junkbuster, so I'm safe from Rusty's gold watch. :-)

Seriously, though, I think we're miscommunicating. When I'm attacking advertising, I'm not attacking the media outlets that are carrying the ads. I'm attacking the marketing firms that devise the campaigns to go after children.

kuro5hin is just carrying ads. Is the site actually advertising anywhere?

[ Parent ]
Re: Re: I adore advertising. (none / 0) (#46)
by rusty on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 06:41:25 PM EST

No, unless you count our "distributed marketing force" of Anonymous Cowards on /. who seem to post links here on roughly every other story over there. BTW, if anyone else noticed that, none of it is done by me, or at my request, or by anyone conected in any way to K5 to my knowledge.

Anyway, no, we don't advertise anywhere. Maybe we should. Not that we have a budget to, either... anyone know any sites that offer free ads to cash-poor sites, which have readers that we'd like to see here? :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Re: I adore advertising. (none / 0) (#49)
by feline on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 07:18:54 PM EST

the only place you can really get free ads really suck, and it'd really just end up being a waste of banner-compostion time.

K5 ads would end up being on someone's personal site that's never visited. My suggestion, bide your time with the people that don't use junk buster, and then eventually work your way into having enough cash to put good ads out on targetted sites.
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'
[ Parent ]

Re: Re: I adore advertising. (none / 0) (#50)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 07:28:48 PM EST

anyone know any sites that offer free ads to cash-poor sites, which have readers that we'd like to see here? :-)

Word of mouth and search engines are still the best way. I heard of this site on slashdot, which I saw mentioned in a bbs for consultants, which I found when searching for sites discussing rates and salaries.

Now I tell everyone of kuro5hin, the same way I told everyone about slashdot when they were still good.

[ Parent ]

Re: Re: I adore advertising. (none / 0) (#64)
by rusty on Tue Jun 27, 2000 at 10:52:48 AM EST

Word of mouth has been by far our major source of new readers so far. I suspect that it's always that way-- you can draw traffic with ads, but if your content sucks, people won't come back. If your content is good enough, word of mouth will do just as well as advertising, and it's free.

And thank you for telling people about us. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Re: I adore advertising. (none / 0) (#52)
by Arkady on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 07:43:18 PM EST

I don't think that'd be a very good idea unless, of course, you actually do want to be /., The Next Generation.

Unless you want to give up the community aspects of K5, you'll need to keep very close track of growth. It's pretty good right now, readabilitywise, with 40-80 comments to an article over a few days. But what happens to "community" and discussion when you're getting over 1000 posts in a few hours to just one story?

Since advertising would have as it's goal bring more folks to the site, you'd need to know ahead of time how it would be changed by that. As an experiment itself, you don't have a lot of models on which to base that kind of guess. So I think it'd be the path of wisdom to just let it grow without trying to bring in the masses.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Re: Re: I adore advertising. (none / 0) (#63)
by rusty on Tue Jun 27, 2000 at 10:49:38 AM EST

This is true. I think one of the biggest problems /. faces is inability to scale to its user base. Well, perhaps inability to realize that it's not scaling to its user base is a bigger problem, but whatever.

I have some ideas on how to cope with longer discussions, but of course none of them are implemented yet. I'll probably hold off on promotion until some of that is in place. And anyway, you said it was the "path of wisdom." And that sounds like something Kane would say. So I can't argue with that.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Re: I adore advertising. (none / 0) (#48)
by feline on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 07:03:16 PM EST

yes, there was some miscommuncation, but my suggestion still goes, television is just carrying the ads just like kuro5hin, and you said that perhaps you were going to limit your childrens access to tv, see the corrolation?
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'
[ Parent ]

Re: Re: I adore advertising. (none / 0) (#54)
by PresJPolk on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 09:10:32 PM EST

The difference between television and kuro5hin is the Internet Junkbuster.

It's easy to avoid ads on kuro5hin. In fact, the hypothetical home network can be set-up to make it impossible to see the ads.

Avoiding television ads can be far more inconvenient, as it takes constant action to do so (muting the sound, walking out of the room).

The only way that ad blocking on television would be possible, with the ease that internet ad blocking is possible, would be through government action. The V-chip would have to be extended to allow blocking of advertising, and the broadcasters would have to be required to distinguish the ads, to make them blockable.

That couldn't happen, since it would kill free broadcast television.

[ Parent ]
Learning from advertising (none / 0) (#28)
by mbrubeck on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 02:23:15 PM EST

Sure, most ads are banal and unoriginal. But that's just Sturgeon's Law -- 90% of everything is crud. Admit it; there have been some really good advertisements, ads that you enjoyed seeing, and will remember years later. Ads can be art.

Consider the advertisers' task. Given a simple message, they must communicate it in a way that is clear, attention-grabbing, and memorable. And it has to fit into a 30-second TV slot or radio slot, a 120-second movie trailer, or a single magazine page. There are great artists working for ad agencies, accomplishing these goals in creative and original ways. Other communications fields could learn a lot from good advertising.

[ Parent ]

Re: Learning from advertising (none / 0) (#41)
by shadowspar on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 04:51:15 PM EST

I positively abhor most advertising, either because of the crassness factor, or the image pushed across (ie, women must be waifs who sport the latest trendy clothes and cosmetics to be attractive to men and therefore worthwhile).

But at the same time, I have to appreciate the ad agencies' plight a bit (I forget the source):

(Advertiser to ad agency exec) [Throws two identical coins on desk.] The coin on the right is mine. The one on the left belongs to my competitor. You tell me why mine's better.
-- Drink Canada Dry! You might not succeed, but you'll have fun trying.
[ Parent ]

easy (4.50 / 2) (#6)
by feline on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 05:59:13 AM EST

The way I do it (skipping commercials, that is) is not watching television all that often.

I know that quite a few of us k5ers and computer 'enthusiests' (addmitted obesessives? :) ) don't really watch all that much television on the count of not finding it very stimulating in the head.

I'd of course be making a gross generalzation in saying that none of us ever watches tv. I usually just use it to relieve my burnout, and when something's compiling.

The only thing I really watch is the block from 10pm to 12:30pm when a local tv station re-runs old nbc shows (seinfeld, friends, newsradio, caroline in the city, cheers) that I set my vcr to record, and I just hit the fast forward button, or just ignore the tv if I'm multitasking between my machine and the bube-tube.
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'

Re: easy (none / 0) (#53)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 07:59:41 PM EST

Personally I just mute the TV (I have a tuner card) and put on an MP3 during each commercial (2 keypresses). BTW, 10pm to 12:30pm is 14.5 hours of TV a day...

[ Parent ]
Interesting... (none / 0) (#13)
by genehack on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 08:07:38 AM EST

It was funny (at least to my pre-coffee self) to first vote on the Crystal Space 3D ad^Wstory, and then hit this...

You want to see alot of ads? (none / 0) (#14)
by kovacsp on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 09:20:40 AM EST

Watch MTV at any hour. At least half the broadcast time is spent broadcasting ads. And does anybody remember the last time they actually saw a video on MTV? Sad, just sad.

Re: You want to see alot of ads? (none / 0) (#15)
by ebunga on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 10:50:46 AM EST

If MTV were to just play videos, things would get boring pretty quick. If they replay MTV Uncensored anytime soon, I'd suggest watching it, as it gives a decent history on MTV. Essentially, what they've done is made MTV into something that isn't just music, but is also about life surrounding that music, and some stuff that is just generally fun (for your average youth). Please note that there is MTV2, which plays nothing but music videos. If all you want is a music video, go see that, instead.

For those that are about to claim, "MTV controls the lives of people", or something similar, that is just non-sense. MTV gives people something they want. As hard as it might believe, people choose to watch MTV, not because they have been brainwashed into watching it, but because they want to.

Also, has anybody looked into how much it costs to produce a TV/Cable show? It isn't that cheap, even if everybody is working for peanuts. You have two choices... 1) have 8 minutes per half hour show set aside for advertising (the standard), or 2) charge a ton of money for your channel (HBO/Showtime/Max/etc).

[ Parent ]
Re: You want to see alot of ads? (none / 0) (#20)
by kovacsp on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 11:50:21 AM EST

Hey, I'm not saying that MTV doesn't have a purpose. I still find some of their programming interesting. My cable system doesn't offer M2, so it's real hard for me to see any music videos (especially since I never have time to watch much TV in the afternoon when MTV does play some music).

What sort of upsets me is the fact that MTV really panders to an audience with a short attention span. i.e. Total Request (or whatever its called). Sure they play some videos, but only like 30secs of the video. What's up with that?

I agree, they don't control people's lives, but they don't give me what I want. Wait. maybe that's why I don't watch it!

[ Parent ]

Re: You want to see alot of ads? (none / 0) (#36)
by ebunga on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 03:35:43 PM EST

Tell your cable system "I want my MTV2!" as, personally, I watch it all the time, even the junk. Part of the time, I don't really watch TV, but have it on, just for some noise and its warm glow. When working on some little project, I was actually tuned into the weather channel for over 16 hours. The time that is spent actually watching TV, I go for the Food Network (Good Eats and Iron Chef... Bobby Flay sucks), Star Trek Voyager (on UPN9), the news on UPN 9 (out of Sacaucus NJ, I think. I'm in Mississippi, why do I watch that more than the local news?), or Cartoon Network (Gundam W, DBZ, Dexter's Lab, Powerpuff girls [don't laugh]). Although I'm paying a ton for the premium movie channels, I rarely watch them. The funny thing, is that whenever I get ready to pick up the phone to cancel one of the premium movie packages, something good comes on. I was actually on the phone once, and was about to cancel, but something good came on, so I didn't. Blech!

I think you have the right idea. A certain channel doesn't give you what you like, so you don't watch it. That's why they have those other 50 channels for you cable people, and 150 channels if you're a dishnetwork subscriber. For those of you that are considering a mini-dish system, I urge you to go with DISHnetwork, and not DirecTV, as DN has better customer service, better equipment, more sattelites in orbit, and actually care about their customers. I've never heard of a person being dissatisfied with those guys, unlike their competitor and the cable companies.

There are always other options, besides TV as well. Go out and play a game of laser tag, read a book, go jogging, go hunt a moose, cook, sue a person or company for fun and profit, riding a horse, riding a four wheeler through the woods and/or mud, go try out to be a VJ on your favourite cable channel, listen to the radio, write a new OS using the Flux OS kit, calculate Pi to the umpteen billionth digit. I could go on and list more things to do, but I think everybody reading this gets the point.

If you don't like ads, don't watch them. Personally most ads on TV are pretty good (except for the ads for the Countour Leg Pillow, and Louie the Loudmouth Bass, and other like junk). As for banner ads, they don't even phase me anymore! When k5 started throwing the banner ads at the top, it took me a while before it struck me, "Kuro5hin.org -- Now the Banner ads!", as it is just so common to see the ads on web sites. I personally feel things like junkbuster are a waste of cycles. Most of the ads are rather small in size, and sometimes they are links to something that is interesting. However, if I see one more "Punch the monkey and win a gazillion dollars" banner one more time..... <voice type="cartman">Bad monkey. Bad bad</voice>.

I've never understood why people get upset with ads. People have to find out about things some way or another, and word of mouth often travels too slow. What to do? Advertise..... That's how you do it. Think the Budweiser frogs and Budweiser's Louie the Lizard campaigns. Those were pure genius! There is an insurance and financial company (I think) that has their ad looking like it is really going to be a documentary about Elvis, but is really selling life insurance and financial planning services, which is a really great ad, if you ask me.

The people that are against ads a) have no sense of humor, b) are communists (not that communism is bad, if done in a way the is true communism, and every single person keeps the right mindset), c) like to sue people for fun. Those that are harmed by commercials a) are consumeroid zombies, b) have mental problems, c) are spoiled brats that need a spanking (forget time outs. To quote a person I went to school with, "I say beat the child").

[ Parent ]
Re: You want to see alot of ads? (none / 0) (#37)
by Arkady on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 03:58:14 PM EST

I think I've just been red baited. ;-)

There's nothing "communist" about disliking advertising. I, personally, consider it to be primarily an issue of crassness and aesthetics, though it is also a cultural issue. I just don't want to live in an environment where the main deciding factor for, say, how to paint your house is who will give you the biggest discount to put their logo on your lawn. The advertised life is crass and it's ugly. These are, of course, subjective opinions. Feel free to have others of your own.

Think about how much money is spent by various communist organization in the US on advertising. Let's refer to the "West Coast Cooperative Directory and Resource Guide", published by the Center for Cooperatives at UC Davis. Sunkist? They're a coop; that's communist. Same with Tillamook. Those of you here in the SF Bay area will have heard of Good Vibrations? They're a coop and I know they advertise in some very interesting places ... ;-)

Communism has a technical definition, which is primarilly concerned with the economic structure of a society and which is almost never what people mean when they use the word in public. Hell, though most people never seem to think about it, communism and captalism aren't even antithetical. I make my living through a cooperative consulting business. That's both. The relations between the members are communist and the relations between the group and our clients is capitalist.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Are license fees the answer? (4.00 / 2) (#16)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 11:17:58 AM EST

I'm much happier paying my ~ $150 license fee every year and not having to sit through a single advert on the BBC channels or radio, it also keeps the commercial television in check too, they cannot force too many adverts down your throat because they know people will just change over to the BBC instead of sitting through endless advertising dribble.

I've watched some of the US networks that are available through cable here; I have no idea how people can stand to watch that much adverting. I can remember once during the Letterman show they came back from an advert, dave said a few words for 30 seconds then they went for another advert.

There are some situations where advertising just doesnít fit, take sporting events for instance, Iím guessing US sporting events craft their game round gaps for advertising? Or hasnít it got that bad yet?


It is that bad (none / 0) (#24)
by Buck Satan on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 12:46:57 PM EST

During any sports event they will take time out to go to a commercial time out of some sort. And you can always tell you are in one because they show the guys down on the field and they are standing around looking like they have no clue what they should be doing.

Soccer (or football to you) is a different story. There are no commercials during play. This was a big nasty thing to the networks here during the World Cup. They just did not know what they were going to do. Well, it appears they are doing something right since soccer is still on the networks.



[ Parent ]
Re: It is that bad (none / 0) (#30)
by rusty on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 02:31:55 PM EST

I always thought soccer got it right, when it comes to sports advertising. Watch soccer on, for example, Fox Americas (Spanish Fox station, basically 90% soccer)-- they never stop play for commercials, but they do show little "banner ads" up by the scorebox, overlaid on the top of the picture. These ads never block anything important on the screen, and they don't interrupt the game itself. I wish more sports would adopt this. It's way less intrusive than the "commercial timeouts" that have become common in American sports.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: It is that bad (none / 0) (#42)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 05:04:50 PM EST

I agree, advertising is very subtle in football (soccer) games, at most you get an advert at half time (45 minutes), also if a sponsor wants to get a message across they just buy space on the bill boards on the sidelines, this is very subtle and non intrusive, it also sticks in your mind more than a quick 30 second ad because you see them throughout the 90 minutes. I can remember the "PSInet" adverts from the Euro2000 matches distinctly.

I also like the advertising in cricket games, since they can go on for hours without convenient spaces for traditional advertising, they paint the advert onto the pitch at a skewed angle so when you watch it on TV it creates the illusion the advert is standing up right, it just looks really weird when a fielder runs over it ;)

It's important to remember TV is there for the purpose of useful programming not solely to sell stuff, I seems many US networks have lost that balance.


[ Parent ]
Re: It is that bad (3.00 / 1) (#61)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 27, 2000 at 09:59:30 AM EST

Actually, if you go to an American football game, you'll see this guy on the sidelines who wears big bright orange gloves. Occasionally, you'll see him lift up his gloves. This is to let the referees and the teams know that it's time for a commercial. He does nothing else.

[ Parent ]
Re: It is that bad (none / 0) (#68)
by driptray on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 02:38:40 AM EST

I also like the advertising in cricket games, since they can go on for hours without convenient spaces for traditional advertising, they paint the advert onto the pitch at a skewed angle so when you watch it on TV it creates the illusion the advert is standing up right, it just looks really weird when a fielder runs over it ;)

A new technique used in cricket advertising is to use virtual paint so that the broadcaster can superimpose an ad that is targeted for each market. For instance, imagine a match between Sri Lanka and Australia - on the back of Steve Waugh's bat the Australian TV audience will see an ad for an Australian brand of beer, while the Sri Lankan TV audience will see an ad for Sri Lankan breakfast cereal.

Its great for advertisers as they can use signage in the same targeted way that they use for inserting different 30 second ads for each geographic target market.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
Re: It is that bad (none / 0) (#72)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 06:42:33 AM EST

I saw something about this a while ago, I think ESPN were using such a technique on American baseball coverage, apparently it's more intelligent than tradition chromacke because it knows exactly where to draw, so if a person walks in front of the advert, he doesn't get a Budweiser logo covering his head.

[ Parent ]
Maybe they like ads... (none / 0) (#17)
by mahlen on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 11:28:14 AM EST

I think a lot of people don't tune out ads because they like ads. Many TV ads are insanely well produced, often costing more than the shows that surround them. I certainly think that TV ads are generally more creative and more interesting than the tapioca that passes for shows on TV. And if people are so fed up with ads, why does AdCritic.com exist, where the only thing to do is see ads?

Now, I'm not in love with advertising and it's pervasiveness in the world. On the other hand, have you EVER been informed of a new product/service/movie/whatever via an ad, and then been glad you did? I mean, word of mouth is great and all as a way to build sales, but even then someone has to be the first to buy...

mahlen

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
--Oscar Wilde

Re: Maybe they like ads... (none / 0) (#18)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 11:35:32 AM EST

Adverts are only produced to a higher quality because people have become complacent with advertising, therefore more ingenuity needs to be put into production in order to get peoples attention, otherwise it just drifts into background noise.

Itís like a drug, the more you take, the higher resistance your body builds up, therefore you need more (or better quality) drugs to satisfy your craving.


[ Parent ]
Not a new problem (none / 0) (#19)
by End on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 11:48:13 AM EST

I have only this to say:
  1. Advertising is not a new "problem"; it has been around for centuries. If anything, the situation's better now that advertisers are required to excercise more honesty than in the past. (Not much, still, but more. Old advertisements for medical or cleaning products are a good example.)
  2. Advertising is not much of a "problem" if you never watch television. Television is a waste of time better spent on more fun things, and no matter what anyone says, I believe it promotes gullibility, mental laziness and an intellectual dependence on cotton-candy variety information.
  3. Advertising is only an issue in the city. If you are one of the minority that live in a larger city, you will certainly see advertising everywhere, but out in the rest of the world it's not a big deal.

-JD

Did you hear about Demolition? (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by sugarman on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 11:52:36 AM EST

Seriously, though, since when is this news? The 45 minute television "hour" has long been acknowledged within the industry, and known by most people watching TV. It has become so engrained that in Canada they even have a show "This Hour has 22 Minutes" a sly wink at the actual running time of the program. That show has been on for most of the 90's, and the format has not changed much in 20-25 years.

Where advertising has changed in television is in where the commercials are located, as stations have tried to break up their programming to work around viewer habits of changing thew channel, or leaving the room. This is most evident in TBS starting their programming block at % past the hour rather than the traditional time, so they can grab surfing viewers who don't see what they like, and keep them becasue they've missed the start of the next show once the TBS program is over. The advent of additional "technologies", like split-screening during the credits so that local programmers can get their promo's in also come into play.

Furthermore, Television is yesterday's news as far as advertising goes. The new market is the internet, and it has yet to lose it's gleam as far as advertiser's are concerned, though the coming shakeout in the dot.com's may leave things a little unsettled for a while. There are still new ways to get the message across, and bannerads and pop-ups are probably going to be just the most obvious tip of the iceberg.

So, why is this news to anyone who's finished grade-school?
--sugarman--

Re: Did you hear about Demolition? (none / 0) (#23)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 12:28:32 PM EST

Furthermore, Television is yesterday's news as far as advertising goes.

B.S. TV advertising is more valuable and more expensive than ever. The value of webvertising, on the other hand, has decreased in recent months. I *wish* that you were right, but I'm afraid that you're not. TV won't be going anywhere for a good long time, and TV advertising will remain the prime method of advertising most brands.

[ Parent ]

Re: Did you hear about Demolition? (none / 0) (#27)
by sugarman on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 02:02:17 PM EST

Fair enough. I know we all noticed that the new dot.coms all spent a lot of their con^H^H^H IPO money on SuperBowl spots.

What I was getting at was that there is little new to be done in Television advertising, hence yesterday's news. Badly worded, my apologies. But though the dollar figures have changed, and small tweaks have been added, (split screens, rotating billboards at sports events, etc), there hasn't been a whole lot of changes in TV advertising in 25 years.

I still think that the gleam in advertiser's eyes is the interactive TV style of "Click on George Clooney's shirt to purchase" when our TV content starts to become indistinquishable from our internet (or at least blurs the two). That's still a ways off, and even though previous efforts have not been great successes, they still keep trying. So, I:m sure sooner or later someone will break the barrier.
--sugarman--
[ Parent ]

Product placement (none / 0) (#31)
by rusty on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 02:37:22 PM EST

I still think that the gleam in advertiser's eyes is the interactive TV style of "Click on George Clooney's shirt to purchase"

Wanna find out how far that's already gone? Next time you're watching a "big hollywood movie" set even sort of in the present day, try this: every time you see a brand name product you recognize, say "product placement". It becomes strikingly clear how much of movies is actually advertising now. Once you start doing it, you'll also start noticing all the scenes that serve no purpose to the film, but are merely the main character taking a big swig of Coke(TM), or opening a bag of Doritos(R). It's actually kind of funny.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Product placement (none / 0) (#33)
by sugarman on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 03:26:38 PM EST

Yeah, I hear ya. Unfortunately, one of my all time faves has recently become the absolute worst for this. It's a shame too, because I kinda like the new Bond flicks since Brosnan came in.

But the tie-ins with this franchise are unbelievable. Get your own "Bond BMW", or Watcch, or cell-phone, or whatever he's using. I half expect to see him meeting Q in a Sharper Image store to select his next set of gadgets. At least "Fight Club" had a good riff on this with the "catalogue apartment".
--sugarman--
[ Parent ]

Fight Club (none / 0) (#44)
by rusty on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 05:31:53 PM EST

Damn, that Ikea scene was funny! :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Product placement (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 03:27:17 PM EST

You're obviously watching too many ``real-life'' movies and not enough science fiction...

VADER: Luke, I am your father. I diapered you...
(Vader holds up box of Pampers for a second before throwing it down the chasm of cloud city.)

VADER: Cared for you...
(Box of Kleenex. Vader removes a tissue and wipes at his goggles before tossing box over his shoulder.)

VADER: And even fed you.
(Holds up bottle of baby food which is clearly marked ``Leading Competitor'')

LUKE: Nooooo! Nooooo! You didn't feed me Carnation baby food!
(Takes out bottle from his pants, holds it up for the camera to see and then tosses it at Vader)

LUKE: You're not my father!
(Lets go and falls into the chasm. But is picked up by the Millenium Falcon sporting a big ``Good Year'' logo on the side).

[ Parent ]
Skipping TV ads is not all that hard... (none / 0) (#22)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 12:27:10 PM EST

There are two very effective ways I've found to skip ads on TV:

First, avoid the "mainstream" stations. The last two shows I watched were on a PBS station out of Spokane (KSPS), and they provided around an hour of entertainment without a single commercial. Sure, what PBS airs isn't for everyone, but a lot of it is quite good. And, this station anyway, is supported by viewer donations, not advertising.

Second, some VCRs have a feature called "Commercial Skip". Even some cheap RCA ones have it. I was pleasently surprised to see my VCR blank the screen and fastforward through the commercials the first time I recorded something. Disadvantages, it has to take a bit of time after recording to go back through and mark the commercial segments, and according to the manual it's not foolproof - some commercials get by, some scenes in the show get cut off. This works by analysing the video signal and only works because the stations insert the ads themselves.

So, those are my tactics... As for web ads - I look at them, if they look interesting I try to figure out where they're pointing and type the url in another window. I don't bother blocking these - yet.

-- Dave

Thing to remember is... (none / 0) (#26)
by FFFish on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 01:50:21 PM EST

...to look to the money.

You don't pay the networks a dime. And the money you pay for your newspaper or magazine is bugger-all compared to the cost of printing them.

Thus, you should conclude that these media are not trying to sell themselves to you. Rather, they're selling themselves to the advertisers.

And the product the offer their advertising customers: eyeballs.

The media is focused on striking the most profitable balance between cost of production, eyeballs and advertising.

And you, my friend, don't effing count for squat, because for every one of you, there are three morons who are more than happy to tune in to watch the shit that passes for entertainment these days, including the advertising.

You should expect the ratio of advertising-to-content to rise because, frankly, most of the population of North America is too stupid to discriminate between quality and crap.

Prophecy (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 02:30:55 PM EST

In not-so-many years, with advanced gene technology, there will be whole new carriers for ads. For example, the firm building a new site around the corner might plant trees with their logo on the leafs... etc.

Re: Prophecy (none / 0) (#51)
by Arkady on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 07:31:56 PM EST

Now that's an interesting idea. Since I haven't seen it anywhere else, I _really_ hope the hucksters don't see this thread ... ;-)

Actually, this sort of thing might be a good idea. Rather than drifts of bleached-paper fliers, you'd have drifts of biodegradable leaves.

Wanna start an ad agency?

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Re: Prophecy (none / 0) (#62)
by Digambaranath on Tue Jun 27, 2000 at 10:28:57 AM EST

It won't stop there, though. Soon people will be hiring out their own bodies as walking advertisements. A bit like designer labels on clothes, but literally up front and in your face.

Just reminded me of a great line in a "Spenser" novel, where Hawk refuses to wear a Lacoste T-shirt, saying "I ain't wearin' nothin' with no fuckin' lizard on it!"

[ Parent ]
Re: Prophecy (none / 0) (#70)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 03:40:44 AM EST

It's already happening. Take a look at companies like autowraps.com who will pay you to cover your car in advertising. And I've seen several contests where one of the prizes was a free tattoo of the companies logo. Yeah, that's a prize I'd enjoy for a long time. And as Ralph Nader recently said, "If they had the technology, they'd tattoo their logo right onto your eyeball." We have a short time to take ourselves out of the game and make advertising not as profitable, lest future generations grow up to know nothing else than being constantly reminded that their reason for living is to be a good consumer.

[ Parent ]
Re: Prophecy (none / 0) (#73)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 09:37:18 AM EST

Yup, it'll become really interesting (in the chinese sense) once we finally have brainjack technology.

Anything that can be done, will be done, at least if it "pays off" (for some) in the near future.

Can we start a revolution now, please?:wq

[ Parent ]
...commercial wasteland... (3.50 / 2) (#35)
by 3than on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 03:30:03 PM EST

I don't generally take issue with TV ads. They're such a staple of American TV-life that I take them for granted. Web ads as well. They don't really bother me.
But the thing to understand is that I'm a college kid in NYC-I have super-high bandwidth net access, don't watch a lot of TV and live in a city that's just plain insane. The commercial culture of NY is a highly developed thing-some people live and die by fashion brands. The vast amount of people pushing brands and brands themselves-from hyper-chains like GAP/BANANAREPUBLIC/OLDNAVY to hyper-exclusive boutique brands(I'm going to use Acupuncture as an example-there are probably better examples that I'm not cool enough to know about) makes sure that a level of competition is enforced. Commercial culture in NY is more or less as it was imagined-there are a lot of well-informed consumers here, who can make informed choices in a diverse marketplace.
But then I went home to Beverly, Massachusetts. Instead of the cramped, boutique-laden streets of NY, there are wide highways full of Corollas and Chevys, and everywhere the eye can see, STRIP MALLS. And in these strip malls, there are stores. Blockbuster. Bertucci's. KB. More Blockbusters...more Bertucci's...the brand pool is extremely narrow.
I had a disconcerting experience with CompUSA in this wasteland of commercial non-culture. Best Buy and CompUSA are both in the same mall, and offer many of the same products, like the HP cd-rw that I was shopping for when I was last at home. Now CompUSA has a price-matching policy. And BestBuy had a better price-but not an IDE drive in stock. So I went to CompUSA to get my drive, at the best (albeit retail) price. I figured it was cool to pay $20 so that I could install it for my fam while I was at home.
But CompUSA only matches prices if BestBuy is in stock. So now it's $50 over a decent internet price. Oops. I got screwed. But I knew I was getting screwed, unlike a lot of people who buy their first computer at BestBuy or CompUSA. So what's the point? Is this the way that competition should work? These two mega-stores, instead of pushing prices down for consumers, as they certainly could with their massive capital, are doing their best to screw people in all possible situations. And those Blockbusters must have a hell of a time competing with themselves...and then there's dialup access, which doesn't afford people the same lightning-quick access to competitive prices that I have as an OC-3-enabled college kid. By the time I left home, I felt as if I'd been trapped and violated by the suburban consumer machine.
Ads are fine. They're great-as long as you have the freedom to escape them. You can turn off the TV or just leave the room. You can ignore banners fairly easily. But there are vast pools where the only 'culture' completely defined by stripmalls, and there's no escape for miles(unless you have DSL maybe.) Ads are fine, except for captive audiences, where they're wrong and evil. And unfortunately, I feel that a lot of people, perhaps the vast majority unrepresented in a forum like K5, are captives in this ad-system.

question for our UK friends (none / 0) (#38)
by aint on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 03:59:53 PM EST

about two years ago while in london, i turned on the television. to my delight there were NO ads during the shows, just in between them. is this still the case? is it with most channels? or was it just a fluke?

very curious,
philip
-- .sig -- did i overlook something? tell me, i love to learn.
Re: question for our UK friends (none / 0) (#40)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 04:48:45 PM EST

I sounds like you tuned to a BBC station, they have never carried any adverts because a license fee supports them. However, if you saw some adverts it may well of been a commercial station, say you were watching a half an hour programme you tend to get 3 minute of adverts either side of the show, with no interruption in the middle.

[ Parent ]
Re: question for our UK friends (none / 0) (#60)
by pharm on Tue Jun 27, 2000 at 06:35:14 AM EST

In the UK, there are 5 terrestrial channels (ie radio broadcast) BBC 1 and 2 are funded from the license which all TV set owners are required to pay, which costs just over 100 UKP / year (ie about 150 USD). There are *no* adverts on either of the BBC channels. (Yay!)

The other three channels are commercial + paid for by advertising. However, there is *much* less advertising than on US tv. When UK commercial stations carry US programs, its very noticable that there are several commercial breaks in the program which don't get used. A half hour program will have one commercial break in the middle, plus commercial breaks between programs.

It seems to me that UK commercial channels charge considerably more than US ones for advert airtime, but have less of it available, which works out as a good thing for the viewer---fewer adverts interrutping programming... but I don't know whether this is really the case.

Incidentally, it's also UKians license fees which pay for the world service + web sites like http://news.bbc.co.uk/

[ Parent ]

Re: question for our UK friends (none / 0) (#71)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 06:36:47 AM EST

hmm, I thought the BBC online and World Service network was paid for via a perpetual Royal Charter, well I guess the money comes out the treasury so we end up paying for it somewhere along the line.

It's nice to think you can go anywhere in the world and listen to the BBC I guess.

[ Parent ]
Re: question for our UK friends (none / 0) (#75)
by pharm on Thu Jun 29, 2000 at 05:19:25 AM EST

Actually, you might be right about the world service, but I think its paid for by either the Home Office or the Foreign Office. As are things like the British Council.

But I think BBC Online comes out of the BBC's own revenue, as do News 24 and the digital channels.

[ Parent ]

I work pretty hard to avoid it (none / 0) (#39)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 04:44:51 PM EST

I moved at the beginning of the year. I brought the TV, but left the roof-mounted antenna behind. Last week, I went out to get some rabbit ears; I hadn't really unpacked the TV before then. (Housemate was sick in bed and wanted some company.)

As for web advertising, I keep my junkbuster filter particularly complete. A while ago, I found that doubleclick.net was sedning ads via https to get around the proxy. I admired their ingenuity (they even supported 128-bit encryption. which is all I have enabled), then blocked them at the firewall and the DNS server. Since recent

So I see a pretty much ad-free net. To the point where I find animated GIFs really jarring and that makes me add any that do sneak through to the filters even faster.

My next step is to add a squid filter module to do the job, and to remove "?ASPSESSIONID=" codes from links. (Cookies and javascript are, of course, nailed in the off position.)

Question (none / 0) (#47)
by DemiGodez on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 07:02:20 PM EST

...fewer then 5% of people choose to evade advertising on TV. Their reasons are simple: It's a pain in butt to do (you have to set up a VCR or a HDR before you can do this) and people are too lazy to step out of the room while watching TV.

I'm curious when you say "their reasons are simple" if these reasons came from the study itself or if they are your opinion. I can't tell.

Adbusters (fixed html) (none / 0) (#57)
by mbrubeck on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 10:26:35 PM EST

I just have to add a link to Adbusters. Their website is merely adequate, but their print magazine is truly amazing. Adbusters promotes awareness of and resistance to corporate thought control. They have produced amazing ad spoofs and "anti-ads," and sponsored events like Buy Nothing Day. They call it culture jamming, and I like it. :-) [Sigh. Scoop seems to mess up the quotes in anchor tags when you hit Preview. I didn't fix it quite right this time. This needs fixing.]

italic fix? (1.00 / 1) (#59)
by Cariset on Mon Jun 26, 2000 at 11:49:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Re: italic fix? (none / 0) (#74)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 02:45:15 PM EST

I'll try too.

[ Parent ]
They'll stop when YOU tell them to stop. (none / 0) (#65)
by um... lucas on Tue Jun 27, 2000 at 02:12:32 PM EST

If the market will bear 20 minutes of commercials to every hour of programing, then next year, the networks, not the advertisers, will try to alot 21 or 22 minutes of commercials into every hour. It'll keep going and going until, you, the viewer, and especially the Neilsen homes, STOP WATCHING!!

If they know they can push more commercials on their viewers, that's more revenue... More revenue, for companies, is good. If viewers stop watching the shows, then they lose revenue's and have to wonder what happened. If they also are beseiged by letters saying that such and such is the reason I stopped watching your programming, then you would see a change very quickly.

As for banner ads on sites. Again, not the advertisers fault. Site owners want revenues of some kind. Advertisers will give them money in exchange for their ads.

Re: They'll stop when YOU tell them to stop. (none / 0) (#69)
by driptray on Wed Jun 28, 2000 at 03:10:38 AM EST

If the market will bear 20 minutes of commercials to every hour of programing, then next year, the networks, not the advertisers, will try to alot 21 or 22 minutes of commercials into every hour. It'll keep going and going until, you, the viewer, and especially the Neilsen homes, STOP WATCHING!!

This consumer sovereignty argument only has weight where there is a genuinely competitive market, with vendors willing to step in and provide that which is not currently being provided. But broadcast and pay TV are both highly regulated where I come from (Australia), and supply is heavily restricted. Complaining to the networks, or simply stopping viewing their shows will not have any effect on the amount of ads they show.

Not only that, but the media is so powerful that it is able to shape consumer demands rather than simply react to them. Many people like ads, and the majority accept them as inevitable. Consumer sovereignty as you see it doesn't exist - it has been co-opted, pacified and made compliant by the market power and ubiquity of the media.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
advertising creates bias (none / 0) (#66)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 27, 2000 at 02:47:58 PM EST

One problem with advertising that I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned (if has somebody has and I missed it, I apologize) is that reliance on advertising affects what sort of media will be created and distributed. TV shows that promote viewpoints that are not tolerated by corporations will not be produced, news programs may be less likely to cover stories that show their sponsors in a bad light.



Advertising: Where Will They Stop | 73 comments (69 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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