Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Planners are evil

Taxi receipt, looks fairly innocuous, £15 probably rounded up from £12 on a I'll-do-you-a-receipt-then-shall-I-nudge-nudge-basis. But look, there's some gibberish on there. Turn it over and you're confronted with this:

Obviously this is a warning-as-advert par excellence. Presumably the best thing about having an affair is the thrill, the sheer un-wisdom of it. That once, just once, you're prepared to give in to a libidinal urge in the face of all that accreted responsibility and prove that yeah, underneath it all you're really young and alive after all.

So in this case a warning of the dangers, for those looking for danger is the best possible advert.

Plus 'having an affair' sounds just much more fun than 'working on or ending a marriage' doesn't it? A Cornetto is not an alternative to a back hand slap across the face.

As the product of what was once quaintly called 'a broken home', now known as a normal family, GC feels somewhat conflicted about this. On the one hand I've got the whole libertarian argument a la Hegarty that says if they sell it, we sell it. But on the other is the straight-forward commonsensical aversion to the promotion of something that's bound to cause more misery, in a world already superabundant in misery.

And don't say, well, by allowing people to select an appropriate partner to have an affair with MetroEncounters are preventing the pain and misery caused by people beginning affairs with the wrong people, because that is so much sophistry. You might as well offer humane murder training for those considering doing a murder. ('Not everyone is suited to murdering, but if you would like to quietly smother your partner to death...')

I'm not sure I'd work on it, but I'd like to meet the planner who did. As would several thousand angry, angry spouses within the radius of the M25 I expect.



worm said...

I like warnings-as-adverts, best one ever was after Leah Betts died from an ecstacy overdose and all the dealers in my home town were offering 'genuine Leah Betts green apple pills'

'wow! they must be well strong, I'll have 5 please, mental!'

Gordon Comstock said...

Ah Leah Betts. Do you remember those billboard ads which just had a picture of her, and the word 'SORTED'?

I wonder if they succeeded in preventing even one person from taking an E. But then, why let the need to persuade or convince get in the way of a facetious headline?

They could have had 'How do you like them apples?'

Although I'm not sure that phrase had the same currency then as it does now.

Ben said...

When I was at college there was another brief for tagging children in shopping centres to stop people abducting them. My campaign idea involved testimonials from Gary Glitter/Fred West etc with the line 'Tag ''em or we'll shag 'em'. The team refused to judge it. My tutor was unhappy.

Where was I? Oh yes, Nick Hornby blogged about this a month or two ago:

I preferred your post.

worm said...

the question is: since its obviously an effective way to create desire for a product, why is this form of advertising not used more commonly?

ie: This motorbike is made of bits of flimsy plastic and so fucking fast its frankly lethal and you'd have to be a nutter to try and ride it

This tonic wine brewed by monks is so strong it may send you into a coma and probably blind you

Entering this game show will make you a z list celebrity and mean that you spend the rest of your life sleeping with footballers and self-harming in the bath etcetc