I like to stay informed on current events by tuning into morning news magazine shows and local TV news for a short time every day. But the TV commercials seem to be hell bent on scaring the daylights out of us. The number of ads by pharmaceutical companies and hospitals have grown like the cancer they convince you is growing inside of you. If I wasn’t a hypochondriac before, I am now. I’ve seen so many commercials about prostate cancer that I’ve started feeling pains there. Oops, that’s right, I don’t have a prostate!  Plaque is forming in your arteries, you’re at risk for diabetes, breast cancer is inevitable and the doctors have only given you three months to live. They are determined to create so much fear and anxiety that you’ll need the anti-anxiety drugs they’re peddling.

STOP! I’ve had enough!  I find that I’m avoiding these shows more and more, and opting for other ways to stay current. I can now get just about all of the news I need on Facebook, thanks to my friends and to sites that post interesting news. And I also can tell Facebook that their ads for stroke prevention and thyroid disease are uninteresting or offensive (stop targeting me with ads for old people!) and the ads eventually go away.

I opened a Readers Digest the other day and 99% of the ads are for medications. Who reads these??!!!  Not me.  There’s no wonder that medications are so bloody expensive – most of the money is being used for advertising. I wonder why they advertise to the public?  Will you be more inclined to suggest to your doctor that you’d prefer Boniva instead of the Fosamax that your doctor prescribed because The Flying Nun endorsed it? I doubt it. So then why all of the ads?

But the Internet is not without fault for ads. It seems that every time you Google a topic, an ad for something related to that topic pops up in your cyber-travels. Our search history is no private matter anymore, and advertisers assume that we’re interested in what we search about. Considering that I write about a multitude of topics, especially now that I’m writing a mystery novel, I’ll bet that advertisers are have a field day with targeting ads to me. “Hmmm, should we send this woman an ad for hormone replacement drugs or for on-line courses on how to become a detective?”

I guess the answer to all ads, either on TV, in print or on-line, is to ignore them and hope that they go away. I just hope that I never get an Internet ad for Alzheimer’s meds. I may have to forget that I saw that.

Advertisements