The other night I flicked past channel 7 after midnight, landing on a show about French castles reminding me a bit of Antiques roadshow, or at least appealing to that sort of audience. A minute later, when the show went to its first ad break, all of the 3 minutes of ads were nothing more than R rated subscription mobile phone services. While these ads are common place on TV after midnight, and are almost expected in shows like Beauty and the Geek, they seem very out of place on a show about French Castles seemingly aimed to a much older audience.
The kind of audience that these mobile phone subscription ads are aimed for would not be watching that show, and the kind of people who are watching the show would be greatly offended by the ads and may switch off. Sure, these ads are allowed to be on TV after midnight but surely someone in advertising at ch 7 should have been thinking “is this the right show to put these ads in?”
On the subject of subscription mobile phone services, I am firmly of the belief that they should be banned or there be strict regulation to the way they are advertised. Why should you have join a subscription just to receive that nude picture you saw on TV, or to have a ring tone of your favourite song or annoying noise or to pretend your phone works as an X-ray machine? The ads give one the impression that you SMS the number just to get the one item advertised. But no. You SMS the number, you pay up to $24 a week, you pay for each of the 20 or more sms’s they send you per month, etc. No wonder teen agers are in debt.
While I am sure there are people interested in mobile phone subscriptions, they should be advertised clearly as such with expenses spelt out clearly as opposed to looking like an ad for one item.