September 24, 2012
It’s time to practise what I preach. I am always telling you to sign, to stand up, to voice objection – well, I’m about to do just that.
I have something that’s been slowly stewing inside me. I’ve written about this before – but now it’s time for the next step.
Preamble: The pull that the television has on my girls, is strong – however, I want them to have as much of an ‘old school’ childhood (like I had), as possible.
Outside – drawing – playing.
Yes, TV was a part of my life growing up, but it was minimal – only 4 channels and transmission ended at around midnight. TV shows included, Play School and Sesame Street (Channel 2 – no ads) and then Romper Room, Humfrey B Bear and Fat Cat all on the commercial channels. In that time the ads were classified as well – all toy ads (pretty much).
Today: Not only are the classifications of shows going down the toilet – things that are PG now, would have been M when we were younger – or worse still – R…a rating that seems to have all but vanished nowadays.
I have a big problem with the ads television stations are airing. More specifically, I have a problem with the television shows that are being coupled with such ads.
A big problem.
The common, knee-jerk response to a comment like this, would be that I don’t have to watch television. I can just turn it off. Well, yes I can – but why should I?
We don’t have Cable TV here at home and we don’t have a DVD shop nearby. So when a good kids’ movie comes on, I think it’s nice for the girls to be able to watch it. Then the dread sets in because I know that I’ll have to be vigilant about the ads the station will air, while my 5 and 9 yr old watch. Sometimes I flatly turn off the TV during ad breaks and other times, we record the show and the girls watch it later.
But I repeat – WHY should I have to do all this??
It’s starting to really get under my skin. So much so, that I’m going to take action. I hope I can get people to take a stand with me.
The most disconcerting factor for me is that, for the most part, it’s not even what they’re saying that has me in this agitated state – it’s what we (and our children) see.
My level of indignation is growing daily because there are times when I turn to see my girls watching something like the following ad on Channel 7, promoting the show GCB – which translates to: Good Christian Bitches…yes, bitches:
Now I had to say to my eldest to stop watching, while I frantically looked for the remote, but it was too late. She saw a jealous woman (suspicious of her husband participating in some adultery) by giving him all he wants, by sticking some fried chicken between her breasts.
There were also the images of the protagonist working in a Hooters-type place (coming down a pole, no less); not to mention the way the women look and behave – plastic, overly made-up and jealous, catty and bitchy.
Fantastic role models.
And ALL this information from the ad above.
We therefore, DON”T have a choice – except to turn it off.
I wrote, in an earlier post, Ready, Fire, Aim!, about how an ad for the lead up to The Shire appeared as my girls and I watched The Sound of Music. How much more ‘G’ can a film be?
The ad for the following movie was everywhere – it has a teddy bear dry humping a super market scanner. This one was hard to avoid – it has a teddy bear in it!
A few days ago an ad for Puberty Blues appeared through an airing of Monsters v Aliens – on Channel 10. It also had a Thomas the Tank Engine ad – WHY BOTHER? They just witnessed a man about to cheat on his wife in the ad.
What about, Snog, Marry, Avoid? My daughter told me about this show – so it was on through the kids’ shows time.
OK, you get the drift. Hopefully you agree that it’s something we need to address…and actually make these VERY rich marketers take responsibility for what they show our kids.
These ads are not only promoting a show, they’re promoting a way of life. A mono-style of life where the pursuits are the same – vanity, greed, envy…sound familiar?
Question #100: Should ads have classifications, just like shows? Should we demand new restrictions?
I’m going to delve into a bit of research.
Then I’m setting up a petition.
Stay tuned. I need your help.
PS I’m off to Japan in a few hours, as a chaperone to 19 students with the Japanese teacher. AAaarrrhh!! What an experience it’s going to be! I doubt I’ll have time to post anything…but we’ll see! I always get a bit twitchy when I don’t write for a wee while…