Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stupid Commercials

Time once again for a look into the folly that is television commercials. Let's see who's making news:

If you despise those "male enhancement" ads, you'll love this. Ol' Smilin' Bob ain't smiling anymore. He, or rather Enzite, has been found guilty of fraud and money laundering among other sins. I don't know if this will take the spring out of Bob's step right away or not, but one would hope we won't be seeing his leering mug every five minutes on late night TV any more.

Also on the pharmaceutical front Pfizer said on Monday it was pulling television ads for Lipitor featuring Dr. Robert Jarvik. According to Reuters, Democratic lawmakers had voiced concern that Jarvik's qualifications were misrepresented in the ads. They said Jarvik seemed to be dispensing medical advice even though he is not a practicing physician. (I'm not a real doctor, I just collect a check to play one on TV.) Seems a U.S. House of Representative committee is looking into celebrity endorsements of prescription medicines, so maybe Sally Field will soon have to stop telling us about her healthy bones, as well.

I like Honda. In fact, I drive an Accord. But their current TV spots featuring the Electric Light Orchestra chestnut Hold On Tight to Your Dream is just another example of a commercial using a pop song for no apparent reason. Repeated exposure to this spot only makes one sick of the song which features a verse in French that, if translated, would make the brass in Tokyo toss their sushi.

But my favorite is the Cottenell bathroom tissue ad. You know, the one with the cute puppy telling us how rough life is on bottoms. Among the gluts abuses we witness is a shot of a man sitting down on the front nose of a classic Volkswagen Karmen Ghia. The puppy exclaims for the man to look out, that's hot! The man sits for a second before jumping back up in surprise. All of this implies, of course, that the car's radiant engine heat is the source of the man's discomfort to his derriere.

Uh... guys?

The Volkswagen Karmen Ghia is a rear-engine car.

Calgone, take me away!

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