No, sorry, this isn\’t how it works loves

So, George Monbiot tells us all that advertising is \’orrible and links to a WWF (ya, wildlife people telling us all about advertising!) report which says:

It is incumbent on the advertising industry to demonstrate that the cultural impacts of advertising are benign.

No mateys, that isn\’t how it works.

It could be of course, it\’s possible to have a system where you\’re only allowed to do what you can prove is benign. Or even a system where you can only do what the law says you can do, or a self-appointed committee of experts says you can do or even, it we were to take things to the level of true absurdity, what self-appointed guardians of Gaia say it\’s OK for you to do.

But we don\’t live in such a system. We live in one where we value certain very odd concepts like \”freedom\”, \”liberty\” and even \”free speech\”. And in order to protect these very odd ideas we have a system of law which says that you can go and do absolutely anything you like as long as the law does not expressly forbid it.

There is no law against advertising Uncle Joe\’s Mint Balls and therefore you can advertise Uncle Joe\’s Mint Balls.

There is a further implication of this too. If you think that a particular activity is not benign then we have a route that you can travel so as to get that not benign activity made into one of those things which the law expressly forbids. Stand for election, get into Parliament, introduce a bill to outlaw advertising Uncle Joe\’s Mint Balls and advertising Uncle Joe\’s Mint Balls becomes something you cannot do.

So off you go and have fun. In the meantime we\’ll all be enjoying this freedom and liberty lark plus the free speech bit which allows us to call you puritan fuckwits.

8 thoughts on “No, sorry, this isn\’t how it works loves”

  1. In fact you don’t have to go to the bother of becoming an MP to try and get rid of Uncle Joe’s Mint balls. If Uncle Joe and his Mint Balls have caused you harm then you have perfect recourse under the Common Law. If he’s caused lots of people harm and they all sue, then he’ll be out of business.

    Job done, and not a ban in sight.

  2. Laughing boy has ventured down this particular path to madness before. Then, he was insisting (based on no evidence whatsoever):

    “Advertising is a pox on the planet. It is one of the forces driving us towards destruction, as it creates needs that did not exist before… turning ours into a more grasping, more atomised society, focused on material display rather than solidarity and community action.”

    He went on to equate adverts for foreign holidays with images of violence and hardcore pornography. (In much the same way George believes that air travel is morally indistinguishable from child molestation.)

    So, let’s all do what he says, shall we?

  3. No, let’s do as he does (i.e. fly all round the world when we have a book to promote and buy a car when we find public transport doesn’t get us where we want to go)… 🙂

  4. Let’s do some thinking out of the box. Why limit this to advertising? Why not say Journalists are not allowed to publish unless they can show they won’t do any harm?

    The funny thing is, I suspect George would say yes because in both case he would assume that his people would be the arbiters.

  5. I can’t find even one mention of free speech or similar (freedom, expression etc) in the WWF report.

    (there is a quote that includes the phrase “freedom to advertise”.)

  6. David Thompson-

    “He went on to equate adverts for foreign holidays with images of […] hardcore pornography.”

    Well why not? They both make people happy, they both represent the freedoms gained from living in a liberal western society, and they both annoy the fuck out of Progressives, so you know, doubleplus good and all that.

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