When I was younger (yes, I know, I know, it was a long time ago...) advertising wasn't very common place. On TV, in magazines, on the sides of roads and on formula 1 cars were only a handful of places where you could be told to "buy soap" or "eat food."
Now, unfortunately, we're bombarded. You can't get a pay and display ticket without an advertisement on the back, advertising the space on the back of the ticket. A ride on a bus or taxi sees the back of the seats covered in adverts for cars for sale at the local Mazda dealership. If you wanted a car, why would you be in a bus or taxi anyway? I go for a pee in a motorway service station, to be sold a solution to bladder weakness ("nopee, now with added absorption") and even a visit to a call box has you learning of the joys of Albanian refugees and their sex trade, alongside a more legitimate advert for the latest Motorola mobile phone.
I can understand some of this advertising. Formula One has always been a stalwart for advertising. How else would you be able to raise the millions of dollars required for each race. But, really, do we need Eastenders to be sponsored by a furniture superstore or Gordon Ramsey's kitchen nightmares to be viewed alongside adverts for alka-seltzer. I remember hearing a tale a few years ago about a documentary all about Auschwitz, and how there was an advert in the break for Calor Gas. This is not a good thing. And let us not forget about everyone's favourite TV adverts. The "no win, no fee" compensation ad, the "consolidate all your debts into one loan" ad, and most importantly, "go compare!" I wish someone would run him over with a formula one car, that would make him scream "Mummy!"
How much further will it go? We did have a spate about 10 years ago of adverts appearing on your mobile. Luckily they seem to have stopped. What about getting car parts with the manufacturers emblazoned across them or TVs that only work after watching one minute of advert for every 4 minutes of TV. Even worse, what about sponsorship on your bins? You wheel out the wheelie bin on the Thursday only for it to tell all your neighbours that you've run out of butter and you're too cheap to pay for textured toilet paper.
As the advent of intelligent recording on PVRs, TV's popularity as the best medium for advertising will suffer immeasurably. Before you know it, we'll have gangs of door to door salesman offering to sell you new carpets, windows, Sky and funerals, before being culled by the advertising being force fed into our sub-conscious minds and telling us that TUC biscuits really are the best biscuit ever (which they are, especially with slices of cheese).
Just remember, buy my book. (The one I haven't written yet.)
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