An Open Letter to Advertising Executives

As an executive responsible for managing a large budget and safeguarding the image of the various brands that you manage, you may be interested in one of the principal reasons why I, and I suspect a lot of other people are not seeing the advertisements that you are paying a lot of money to have shown on prime-time national TV networks. Even more to the point, I (and many others) are actually paying good money to avoid watching the programs that you are betting upon to attract attention to your advertisements.

The problem isn’t, as you may be thinking, that the sheer volume and length of advertising slots during programs is the issue. That is an issue, but its one that we have learned to live with over the years. No the real issue is that the TV networks are making the programs themselves — you know, the filler material between the ads, the stuff that attracts the eyeballs in the first place — completely unwatchable.

They do this with those incredibly annoying and disruptive animated things at the bottom of the screen. They were bad enough when they started as little more than ticker-tape height, but over time have grown to fill the bottom third of the screen, filling it with highly animated and brightly colored distraction. Most often, seemingly timed to completely disrupt the atmosphere that the program producer has spent his talents building.

Apparently, the networks think that this is just a free slot they can use to pimp their future programming, not having to use that valuable time that they can sell to you.

Unfortunately, this makes watching any serious programming impossible. This is why I, and presumably many others, will wait, and actually pay money to watch the exact same program via the Internet.

It’s not only being able to watch on my schedule as opposed to that of the networks.  It’s not to avoid your advertising (although that too has its attractions), but is very definitely to avoid the garbage that the networks insist on slapping on the screen during the program I am trying to watch.

I accidentally tried to watch House on Fox last night. It was impossible to not be continually be distracted and lose track.

It left a very bad taste in my mouth, not only for Fox, but for the morons that spend good money paying for advertising slots that I will ensure I never watch again. Back to Amazon and Netflix for me.

I suggest that you, who really control what goes on here with your advertising budget, apply as much pressure as you can to ensure that programming around your paid for time does not include this garbage. Then, one day, I may actually see some of your advertising material once again.