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Andrei in the office


Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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Andrei in the office

Concerning the Right to Advertise... (flamebait?)

I read a stunningly good description of the entire MoveOn.org affair going on. If you haven't hears about this the issue is quite simple... sort of.

MoveOn.org financed to air a commercial to support anti-Bush opinions during one of the highest rated programs of the year. The commercials are very expensive and viewed by a huge % of americans. The only problem is that the airing network has opted not to air these commercials.

Now, as I said there is an excellent description of the situation by cmpriest I would hazard that before you read that post, or my comments that you understand that the post explains (and entirely to my agreement) that the network's choice is not censorship. They are fully justified in what they did.

Now, cmpriest agrees with most people that this is none-the-less a really bad thing. She feels they should have aired the commercial. I say most people, because I present the argument that CBS may have made the right decision. (Thus the flamebait)

My response behind the cut is a cross posting from my comment in her journal agreeing with her opinion but suggestion why it may have been better that CBS did make the decision that they did.

You've done an excellent job in representing the issue. I agree entirely with your stand on this issue and would like to hazard that perhaps CBS has done more for moveon.org's agenda than its supporters might see.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs managed to devise the wonderful process of event-based, free advertising. Whereas the event itself is so large, that the ensuing news of the event pushes the information onto the streets through more outlets than any simple advertising would have done.

By refusing a superbowl ad there is the resulting cry of unfairness which will for starters spread quickly through the internet. This cry will evolve into analysis. I have already seen at least 4 posts on my own LJ-friends list including your own. Internet news sites (http://www.gnutellanews.com/article/10010) will pick up the story. From there, the noise and clatter will eventually be picked up by the news agencies who will opt to show the offending commercial. (Reuters...

Now, this becomes an interesting dance of how ABC and NBC might spin the story without advertising CBS in the process.

Just my $0.02 (or minimal fraction of a superbowl ad)

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Well, I'll just protest and... not watch the Superbowl this weekend.

Sunday? Bah. CBS won't be on MY TiVo this weekend!

;) Yeah, that'll show them.. and I won't drink any beer that's advertised then either!

(Hm, not planning on drinking any beer OR watching any sports this weekend so I'm pretty sure they're safe.. :) )

I became engaged in this debate on a mailing list I'm a part of.

She is absolutely right, there's no 'right' involved here. Also, one thing everyone on that side of the argument tends to forget is 'equal time' or 'free access to the airwaves' is a very dangerous and slippery slope.

I wonder how people would handle spots by the Klan during the BET awards, or Fred Phelps and his 'God Hates Fags' gang of wackos during Will and Grace?

You can see the problem. :)

What you fail to state above and I didn't read the other posting, is that the major networks are the caretakers of the Public airwaves. This is why there are so many restrictions on their use.

IMO, this would be like say a phone utility company refusing phone access to an organization just because they don't like the company or what they stand for. The phone utility companies use the lines and have been told that they MUST allow access to these lines, it's the same for the airwaves.

CBS doesn't own the time they use, they must, by law allow access to the public airwaves.

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