Daily Archives: April 30, 2013

I Have a Bridge to Sell You: Don’t Want That? How About These Pills and Money Instead? Padre Steve Muses on Radio Advertising


Sometimes a writer has to write about something less than serious, even if it has somewhat serious implications….

I have to drive a lot. As such my current vehicle is equipped with Sirius satellite radio. I am not particularly esoteric in my radio tastes. I listen to the Sirius 70’s music channel, “70’s on 7” as well as various sports and news channels. Thankfully the 70s channel is commercial free, however, the others are filled with commercials and these are not your what you see on TV, despite the fact that at one time satellite radio was advertised as being advertisement free. That being said I have enough capitalist in my moderately liberal constitution to tolerate advertising because businesses have to make money.




Now I don’t mind advertising or people and businesses making money, except some of these advertisements, in fact I think most of them seem more than unseemly. They seem to me to be somewhat grotesque in their appeal to the most base, carnal and insidious passions known to humankind. They play on most wanton passions  that we know as people. It is actually fascinating when one decides to listen to the barrage of advertising for products that appeal to every one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Well at least the more exciting ones of them that are not that are not explicitly forbidden by law.

I am actually amazed when I listen to these advertisements. I have kind of lost count of the numbers of different variations in them but here are a few of my favorites.


I think that the most common ads that I hear are ones for male Erectile Disfunction, or E D, The fascinating thing about these advertisements are the shear numbers and variations of them. There are the supposedly legitimate “real” prescription drugs, in their original prescription form, modified variants that give new life to the languid male sexual appendage in as little as 7 seconds. Of course there are the supposed “generic” versions of these little blue pills of happiness as well as foreign manufactured “organic supplements” that supposedly make the otherwise languid male organ do backflips or something like that all for a fraction of the costs of the real thing. For the first time this week I heard advertisements for female sexual enhancement supplement. That was interesting, but I digress…

Of course we can’t leave out weight loss medications sold over the airwaves and the internet, nor the one that I heard this week on a program to help you gain weight. I thought that answer to gaining weight was eating Big Macs at every meal, but evidently I was wrong, there is a program guaranteed to help you get a fat ass, if you are willing to spend the money. My advice, save the money and spend every waking hour at McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King and Hardy’s with occasional forays to Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme.

Then of course there is money. Money, money, money, must be funny, living in the rich man’s world. I find the money making schemes, or the presented on these radio advertisements to be worthy of a Ferengi, not that there is anything wrong with that because I admire the Ferengi.


But as much as I admire the Ferengi I am a mere “Hu-man” and have to point out that despite my admiration for the Ferengi that I have a hard time with Hu-mans like me attempting to outdo the Ferengi in the acquisition of capital, earned or swindled. The financial “opportunities” presented include “opportunities” in gold, silver and other precious metals, most of which have lost value after speculators took them to unimagined heights due to world economic uncertainties. Then there is the economic apocalypse promised by those that promote secret ways to avoid the economic catastrophes that they promise, except that they keep running the same commercial that they did last year as if was new. I guess that the warning may not been as critical as the advertisement.


Then there are the advertisements that promise to deliver people from their debts, especially massive amounts of debts to the IRS and state tax agencies that could only come through attempting to illegally not pay taxes in the first place or those that simply want to escape paying for things that they bought. Those are just a few of the economic scams that await people should they respond to them. There are a host of others including those of payday loan agencies and even unregulated agencies on Indian reservations.


Of course there are the “Christian” relationship and dating sites like Christian Mingle, which promises to help you “find God’s match for you.” Sorry to sound cynical but I have seen too many Christian friends duped by such sites to believe anything that they advertise. I can’t wait to hear an advertisement for “Christian Mangle” the site that links “Christian” abusers to victims, at least there might be some truth in advertising in it, but again I digress….

All of these advertisements promise to give those desperate enough to send money to them to eliminate debts, both honestly and dishonestly incurred, to get rich quick on the misfortunes of others, to increase sexual drive and performance and even to use God and the internet to find a mate to dominate.

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The sad thing is that these are just a sampling of the offerings being marketed to those gullible enough to throw down a credit card number. Somehow the proliferation of such ads makes me long for the days of K-Tel and Ronco back in the 1970s and even the Saturday Night Live satires of them.



About the only thing I haven’t heard an advertisement for is premature ejaculation, but I hear that’s coming quickly.* I guess that is why that for the most part I listen to my 70s music, brought to me without commercial advertisements.

So for tonight,


Padre Steve+

* Credit to Mel Brooks for that line

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Filed under economics and financial policy, Just for fun