agency wanting to crack down on TV ads?
- This from _Rail Travel News_ <www.railtravelnews.com/>
AUTO ADS ON TV NEED REINING IN
A brief report on CNN this past week indicated that a government agency wan=
ts to crack down on auto ads on TV that show speeding. We could not obtain f=
urther details of this report.
However, RTN had already concluded that two General Motors ads suggest very=
dangerous motoring activities. The first, for Cadillac Escalade, pictures t=
wo freight trains heading in opposite directions waiting at a highway crossi=
ng. Along comes a Cadillac Escalade and whizzes past the waiting trains. The=
n the trains proceed on their way.
This ad suggests to highly suggestible young people, who know little or not=
hing about the operating characteristics of trains, that a car might have th=
e right-of- way over a train at a grade crossing.
The second TV ad, for Buick, shows a pedestrian standing in the middle of a=
highway lane. A Buick speeds along and drives right through him (with the h=
elp of some special effects) and he is unharmed.
Again, this ad conveys the idea that the owner of the car in question need =
not worry about impediments to his swift operationneither trains nor pedest=
The ad producers will likely respond that anyone knows that the situations =
shown are silly and unrealistic, and that no one in his right mind would act=
upon the ideas presented in the ads. However, consider who sees the commerc=
ials and what states they are in while viewing them. Think beer-drinking, dr=
ug-using young males. Consider how the images become stored in the back-shel=
f brain cells of these viewers. And when they are driving towards a railroad=
grade crossing, all that's needed would be an untoward impulse from the sub=
conscious to urge them onward in the face of more rational deliberations abo=
ut safety. The general feeling stimulated by these commercials is that the d=
river need have few or no restraints upon his swift forward movement. Ask th=
e motivational psychologists who dream up the ideas for these ads. If they a=
re honest, in spite of their high salaries, they will admit the accuracy of =
If you are an Operation Lifesaver official reading this, please let this re=
port be more widely known among your colleagues.