Good news, bad ads

By Christian Nielsen

Global TV networks provide us with insight into major events around the world. But surely we can do without the terrible ‘global ads'.

7 April 2010

Of course, a massive global audience is prime pickings for ‘international' ads. But it's a pity that channels like and BBC World allow below-par , tourism promos, and corporate- and investment-awareness campaigns to undermine what can be excellent programming.

Serious magazines, debates, documentaries and reportages are peppered endlessly by the dumbest, poorest-written ads from countries all the world, from Georgia and Macedonia to South Africa, the Gulf states and Taiwan.

Just recently, I was watching a very important debate on CNN about the in crisis following further allegations of child sex abuse cases and calls for the Pope to stand down. The Larry King Live report was interrupted every few minutes by a series of stupid, ill-placed ads for Georgia and Taiwan.

“Grim these days – crisis everywhere? Mmm what's that shining dot there? Georgia. Hello, people, what's going on?” the annoying narrator asks.

[The camera zooms in on a naff party scene with two screens in the background scrolling a set of uninteresting facts about investment in Georgia.]

The party group shout, en masse and oh so naturally, that they are celebrating World Bank figures indicating how good it is to invest in Georgia, despite the current economic climate.

Jesus, who writes this crap? Who signs off on it in the organisations responsible? Who at the networks allows it to be programmed? And who deems it appropriate to accompany Larry Kind Live talking about child abuse?

World programming doesn't have to mean the demolition of the English language in poorly conceived and poorly executed advertising and promotions. Get your act together CNN, BBC World, etc. – don't accept these sub-standard ads… the money is NOT worth it!

Published with the author's permission. © Christian Nielsen. All rights reserved.


  • Christian Nielsen

    Christian Nielsen is a journalist, copy writer and editor based in Brussels. He writes pretty much anything that takes his fancy, from the woes of travelling with kids to the dangers of antidepressants, but technology, EU affairs and science writing pay the bills.

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