The Shyness of Advertising

Thu 06/28/12 06:14 AM. Advertising is the great golden wand of the passing age. And it was so shy! It seemed to work its great magic invisibly! ... Its original vehicles — the magazines and newspapers — were so relentlessly high-minded and virtuous we hardly noticed them flogging soaps and computers and all the goods of the world.

The shyness of television was never as convincing, and confined itself to a virtuous class of shows, but that was surprisingly effective in promoting the saintliness of the solemn celebrity news readers and the teleprompted Sunday culture authorities and, in a final coup, educational television, whose many advertisers were dominated principally by itself.

But all, all, going, and soon gone. ... It’s not that advertising has died, far from it! The quantity on the internet in words and inches viewed probably already dwarfs any previous era. The terrible tragedy is, it’s too cheap! ... No-one needs or can afford to pay the odd pitiful ink-stained communist to blither in between the ads and promote his classes’ wacko political ideals’ holiness. The efforts to replicate the magazine/television model on the web are all obvious failures: the channels, the portals, Slate magazine, AOL and Yahoo and Huffpo ... It’s over. The age is done. ... The golden wand has gone out....