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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What would a world without advertising look like?

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The other day I linked to a Guardian blog piece about the choice of Seth MacFarlane as Oscars host that included this bit:

[T]here is a persistent worry that the Oscar telecast simply can’t get the ratings that it once did. In the all-important 18-49 age-range, the 2012 show got 14.9 million viewers, as opposed to a whopping 113 million for the Super Bowl.

And it reminded me that a QOTD I’ve been waiting to ask for a while is this:

What would a world without advertising look like?

It reminded me because, of course, that 18-49 demo is the one that advertisers are so keen to get at. ABC, the Oscars network, wouldn’t care which particularly people are watching the Oscars if the advertisers didn’t care.

So there’s one thing: we might have more adventurous, more interesting, more challenging television.

Another thing to ponder in a world without advertising: What would replace all the billboards and bus ads and bus-kiosk ad and all the many ads that fill our public spaces? Would we replace them with art and poetry that isn’t trying to sell us stuff?

Beyond all this, there are many questions, the first of which might even be: Are there good reasons why we wouldn’t want a world without advertising?

Have fun…

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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