Negative advertising

Let’s all start off with one assumption: If you have given in to a smart phone, that’s your primary computer for email checking, web surfing, a little game playing and, of course, social media. 

I suspect there are many of us who are fed up to the back teeth with all the advertising being pumped at us. You turn on your phone, and a browser automatically senses where you are and finds appropriate messages to flood your screen. 

You play something simple like solitaire, and the phone is interrupted with a commercial for a credit card or whatever else the browser last remembered you tried to avoid looking at as it flashed by on a search page.

You get a stupid email advertising something highly unlikely and inappropriate, like an ad for a medicine for a condition you have never heard of, which you delete before reading. Hey, guess what, the email got onto your phone with little cookies, and when you go to your Facebook page, there are the same ads running down the right hand side. 

Or, let’s say you went to Google and did a search for a color or type of paint. Yup, next time you go to Facebook or Amazon or anywhere, what pops up? Ads for those same paints. Even if you just bought a dishwasher, you’ll see ads for dishwashers for weeks just because you did a little research beforehand.

Ads and advertisers are stupid. They blind the guys writing checks for this rubbish advertising quoting “eyeballs” or “clicks.” Yeah, they count you even getting an email in your inbox as an eyeball, and when you click to delete, score one more proof of interest, click, for the advertiser. It’s a con game.

Surveys done in AdWeek (the number-one advertising magazine — a trade bible) admit that the most annoying ads (70 percent of survey) are those that pop up, taking over your screen until the seconds click down and your own darn computer or phone becomes yours again. That’s like someone stealing your phone without your permission. 

So, yes, sure, I am sure you’ll be so well-disposed toward Capital One for grabbing control of your phone that you will immediately sign up. Right? Not.

Here’s my message to businesses: stop being conned by Google and the like. They may say they have accurate information for you, that they can guarantee eyeball and click counts for your product, but they are selling you useless information and — what’s worse — product hatred from customers they annoy. 

Me? I guarantee all advertisers that if they interrupt what I want to do on my phone or computer I will never, ever, buy their product, and I will be sure to remember how much I hate them. How’s that for effective negative advertising?


Peter Riva, a former resident of Amenia Union, now lives in New Mexico.