I dropped my car off for service, and took a cab to work.
What would you do if you had dropped your car off and the cab that had arrived to take you to work had an advertisement of the top which offended you? Take the cab anyway? Call for another cab? It is a tough question. But every day we are confronted by attention-drawing exploitive imagery which is gradually getting more suggestive and inappropriate. It desensitizes us to normal bounds of propriety and scandalizes the innocent. Under the guise of the right to free speech marketing gurus are manipulating our appetites and creating demands for products and services we would be better off not using. Under the cloak of normal capitalist practice the fabric of our society of slowly, inexorably being torn apart and the silent majority is sitting back doing nothing because of our inertia and the belief that we as individuals can not have an effect. Well it is not true, the little guy, you can make a big difference.
Here is a cab with roof top advertising the type that I have often seen used for "gentleman's clubs".
If just a few of us complained every day about what did not work for us, if we drew attention to offences to good taste, we could form a collective army of public opinion which could drive this country in the direction we want it to go.
Let me give you an example. The cab I didn’t take had an advert for some dirty bar where prostitutes sell their services. The idea that my dollar was going to finance a promotion for such a business galled me. So I wrote a letter complaining to the Checker Cab Company, and to their credit they got back to me and told me that such advertising was to stopped forthwith. I was pleasantly surprised. I share my letter and their response with you.
So what, big deal you might say. But consider this if every time you saw an offensive advertisement you complained to the producer, and then asked other people who employ that producer whether they want to be associated with and represented by a company that uses business methods which are destructive of moral values, what would the accumulative effect be. Would they react like the Check Cab Company? If so then you and I can play a part in cleaning up America, the land of which we are so proud.
Take a look at these bill boards and ask yourself what other company is also using that marketer, Viacom or Regency or whatever, to promote there products. A letter to the company suggesting that they not endorse such free speech, and implying that with their tacit support of it, you feel that you would prefer not to use their service or product. Such and expression of condemnation might do a lot to change the permissive way advertisers get us to absorb their subliminal and not so thinly veiled messages.
Now take a look at this window treatment in a shop window on Sunset Boulevard. I am asking myself what was going on in the mind of the owner when this was allowed to be displayed.
I have heard that if you look for the bad you will surely find it. But where do you draw the line?