Advertising IS Noise Pollution

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

I am, undoubtedly, old.

One of the cliches of getting older is an increased desire for silence - or at least more regulated noise - and a decreased ability to handle the stuff that comes in from everywhere else, especially when it's noise from a generation below your own.  Hence the stand-off between parents and their teenagers and the "crap - that's not music" emanating from said teenagers' bedrooms, wafting under the door and mingling with the hypocrisy of parents on the other side who were once listening to their own version of said music crap some years prior :)

The MCG sports stadium is like a teenager and I am like its mother.  From the time I got there early to watch my football team be beaten by its nemesis again, and in every moment when the teams weren't playing, I was bombarded from the big screen.  Advertisements from the home team's sponsor, on-the-ground spruikers bleating whatever crap the home team Marketing Department has come up with recently, stupid promotional games sponsored by optometrists involving members of the audience being willing to put on stupid big glasses and make dicks of themselves in a bid to win some cash.

It's just not to be borne, dear reader.

Now, it's said that the world is noisier than it's ever been.  It certainly feels true for our public spaces.  (If, however, you walk around some of the suburban streets of Melbourne, you'd be forgiven for thinking a giant plague had swept through killing everyone in its wake.  Such silence).  Publicly, though, it's a different matter. Whenever large groups of people congregate, so too do the giant TV screens to continue plying their wares at us.

When do we say "enough"?  Is it just me and my partner, being old fuddy duddies who object to the public advertising bombardment?  I know I've written about this before, but this really shits me.  These are public spaces.  We peeps are losing the ability to interact face-to-face with strangers without despising each other or glassing each other.  We are losing our community and drowning in our consumption.  The communal spaces we have left for the former we should not allow so easily to be taken over by the latter.


  1. blogger has been very naughty re comments lately
    but it appears all is well now

    I hear you about the noise pollution, and agree...
    but I wonder if we could afford to do things if the ticket price was the only revenue raised from an event

  2. Yes I agree. Less noise, more real contact. Let's start a movement.

  3. I wonder just how measurable the income garnered from the tirade generates. I, for one would be more than happy to pay more to go to the game if I wasn't assaulted for two hours.
    And just how much is enough to placate the sponsors? When will their market share be enough? When will the "brand" have grown enough for them?
    For me, it's just a guide for who not to buy from. But then, I guess I'm just a grumpy old c**t, right?

  4. Kel - I think the AFL/MCC could certainly still afford to do things without pre-and-during-game advertising. The sponsors would still be able to advertise everywhere else. People would still pay to walk through the turnstiles or buy memberships. I don't know the exact figures, but the TV rights alone garnered mean that the AFL is not a poor code.

    Tess - a noise pollution movement. Excellent. I'll be with you on that one.

    Anth - this is where the problem is, to me, because enough market share will *never* be enough cos that's capitalism, ain't it. It's up to us to say no to it and say enough is enough.

    Oh, you said a naughty word.

  5. It is funny how we crave silence as we put on some years. Now silence speaks to me in ways I could not hear when I was younger, it's a good place to be.
    One of the lines that really struck me from your post is:
    'We are losing our community and drowning in our consumption' now that is worth finding a quiet moment and pondering :-)
    Glad you stopped by my blog, I could so relate to your post on Kel's place.

  6. Bren, I'm sorry I didn't realise I didn't respond to your comment.

    Funny how silence speaks to us as our years grow longer, ain't it. It's something I never would have seen coming and it's such a beautiful sorta thing ain't it :)


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