Monday, January 22, 2007

Udderly Disgusting

Marketers have gone crazy in their quest to sell any space with their customer’s advertisements.

I am not one to hit the television mute button during ad breaks as I sometimes find the commercials to be more entertaining and skilful than the programs. But when supermarkets stamp the eggs with the names of upcoming TV programs, subway turnstiles bear messages from an insurance company and beds in doctor’s surgeries are covered with the brand of painkillers it is time to protest against the sensory overkill.[1] When driving along a freeway lined with gigantic, electronic billboards we are not free to close our eyes or hit the mute button.

Branding advertisements onto the backs of cows (see photo) is disgusting and so unpastural. When the church coffers are low it is tempting to sell the space on a church wall or steeple to the advertisers.[2] But isn’t any space sacred any more?

Oversupply, oversizing and inappropriate positioning of advertisements is visual pollution. It is as hazardous to our health as passive smoking is to our lungs or high-decibel noise is to our hearing.

Geoff Pound

Image: A new spin on cattle branding.