If you’re of a weak constitution, then this is probably not for you. I’m far from delicate and I find myself cringing from time to time and grateful I haven’t just scoffed a trifle which might make a projectile like re-appearance when faced with the offending material. Feeling brave? Read on.
I don’t watch much TV, but occasionally there might be a series on (most recent, Marcella) that I really want to see and so I look forward to settling down each week, usually on a Sunday night as it brings the weekend nicely to a close and helps to overcome those Sunday night blues. You know what I mean? Well, picture the scene. The childer are in bed, the dog has been walked, and you and your significant other load up with treats (liquorise allsorts for me, a variety of savoury goodies for him) a whole couch each and smile smugly at each other for this stolen time together. I’m engrossed in the plot, this series is GREAT, really living up to my expectations and then the adverts come on……The advertisers have targeted this particular audience to promote the latest in continence wear and erectile dysfunction products, not to mention offering all kinds of solutions for your gnarly toenails and feet. I understand the need to advertise, but it’s Sunday night, our mood is fragile to begin with, thoughts of the working week are creeping in, with deadlines looming, office politics to be picked up from where we parked them the previous friday and then we have the horror of looking at foot fungus! My liquorice allsorts lie abandoned (don’t worry, I’ll scoff them all in one go before I go to bed once all thoughts of absorbancy products have been erased from my mind) The erectile dysfunction one is a particular treat, it promises all-sorts of gaitey for the older couple; dancing and yachting, is there a bungee jump in there too?, might as well be…..
Wouldn’t this kind of advertising be more fitting aired on a week-day, about mid afternoon (post the lunchtime nap of course) when in my opinion, the product might actually spark some interest from the viewers? I’m not being ageist here but surely this is a better target audience. And anyway this age-group are not sat in on Sunday nights, they’re out salsa-dancing having overcome the erectile dysfunction issue! Mind you if I believed everything that infamous ‘Bodyform’ advert promised back in the 90’s, I too would be out pier twirling or parachuting and shouting ‘Whao!’ at every opportunity instead of sitting in front of the TV on a Sunday night scoffing liquorice allsorts…
Another unsavory one is the animation advert for thrush. In my opinion, if you’ve ever had the misfortune to suffer from thrush, you wouldn’t need a caricature of a prancing stick thin girl to prod you in the direction of treatment – fact! Girls are older than their years these days, they know EVERYTHING. Unlike when I was growing up, but of course in the 70’s and 80’s, advertising companies might not have dared produce a short film about something as unmentionable as the aforementioned. Although the great thing about TV today is I can fast-forward through the adverts Whoohooo!!!!! and sometimes if it’s a recording, it won’t pickup the adverts at all, how great is that? However, if it’s real-time TV, I’m scuppered and that’s usually the time we might have the company of one or both sons. I don’t know whose pain is greater! I wonder how the advertising companies feel about us hitting the fast forward button or do they have to raise their fee to support all the un-watched adverts?
I’m coming across as a bit prudish here, I’m not really, but isn’t TV supposed to be an escape from the norm and adverts a break from the programme itself? If I’m watching, for example ‘Silent Witness’ it’s gorey enough without the adverts offering me solace in feminine hygiene products! I want to see palm trees and sun soaked beaches, shiny cars travelling coastal roads I’ll never go down, shoes to die (and live) for, not bloody foot fungus! The underlying problem here is that I HATE feet. Not babies feet, I love babies feet, but the hobbity, gnarly, crusty, yellowy, fungally challenged variety of feet that make me want to barf and take to the roof. Funny, I don’t have the same problem with nappies and nappy rash products being advertised, of course that’s because usually these will involve lots of cute babies. Shame we have to grow up and become so mouldy .
For the purpose of this blog, (actually, it was just for fun really!) I googled ‘the worst feminine hygiene’ adverts. Give it a go, honestly it’s unbelievable what was given the go-ahead to be aired for public viewing! There’s a particularly atrocious French one involving a fish….oooh and an empty swimming pool speaking volumes to me about absorbancy! I noticed too in my ignorance that actually some of these go back as far as and pre-date the 70’s and 80’s so I was wrong in thinking earlier that advertising unmentionables is a more recent thing, although I do think it’s definitely more graphic and the earlier adverts much more discreet. In fact the earlier ones are actually very comical in their attempts at discretion, so I did at least get a laugh. (Note to self: delete browsing history from family computer)
Maybe there should be a warning before these adverts are aired for the likes of me- you know, a bit like when a TV presenter warns the viewers of upcoming flash photography in a segment in case of any photosensitive issues. It could go something like this….’The following advert contains items of an acute offensive, toe curling nature and if you are particularly sensitive or have just eaten-look away now’ I could use it as my cue to hop out and put the kettle on- Just Sayin’