Recessionomics: Sell Ad Space to the Bidder with Money

By Matt Van Hoven 

Oh me oh my, America is in for a shock &#151 more alcohol and sex-centric public displays of consumerism (PDCs) that will surely (wink) bring the end of morality in our great grain and milk raised country.

Oh where have all the standards gone? And look, this LA Times story on the subject quoted Steve Hall of Adrants, who said, “Given the economy, there are publishers and media outlets that are doing what they have to to survive.”


Hell yeah they are. The only question is how pissed will parents get, and at what point will their concerns be heard, dangit? You advertisers, with your products and your persuasion, you must be stopped! Actually, they seem to be OK with it so far, and like the rest of the world the general notion seems to be that we all have to make a buck somehow, so let the ads run!

The second the market turns around, that will likely change &#151 even though strip clubs and KY jellies and vodkas will have helped bridge the gap between bust and boon for the TV networks, outdoor signage owners, magazines et al.

Although adult products generally have a tougher time getting play in prime time, it’s interesting that the morality thing was a big deal when TV stations, for example, were perfectly happy running Snuggie (and other such) ads which are arguably equally damaging. Is it worse to park a car on blocks in front of your nice suburban home, or host a bikini party? Drivers-by will be annoyed that the car looks so ugly and they’ll talk about it to other neighbors &#151 but they won’t dare mention the little chubbies they got while watching the girls/guys frolick in the kiddie pool.

Permitting morally questionable advertising during a recession is great for the advertiser with the racy good for a few reasons. Number one competition is low, which means the space is cheap too. Third, people tend to do more “bad” things when times are tough, which means increased ROI for said advertiser.

People will always get their drink on, and need lubricants and porn &#151 and now is the time to remind consumers of that. If the city looks a little dingier for it, oh well. After all, these are dingy times and we’re all human and advertising is a reflection of society. And damnit, there are mouths to feed, rents to pay, morals to slide &#151 so we may as well do what we can to make it better.

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