No one cares about your controversial ad

Whenever there’s a controversy about an ad, it’s worth bearing in mind that people are quite capable of remaining oblivious to advertising. The recent ad, mocking General Petraeus as “General Betray Us,” turns out to be no exception. Asked in a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll how much attention they’ve been paying to the organization’s advertising, a mere 8 percent of respondents said “a lot,” with another 10 percent saying “some.” Sixteen percent said “not much,” 37 percent said “none,” and 25 percent volunteered that they’d never heard of it. So much for the notion that you can amplify the effect of a small ad budget by provoking free media coverage. One other nice tidbit from the same survey: When asked their opinion of The New York Times (where the ad ran), 5 percent of respondents dared to say they’ve never heard of it.

—Posted by Mark Dolliver