It's not that we don't understand the power of television commercials. In our younger years, we really did think that Love's Baby Soft smelled delicious and that Hungry Hungry Hippo was "hours of fun," all because advertising told us so.
And yet, we can't quite get on board with the Mail Online's latest anti-advertising diatribe. In it, they argue that there should be a ban on radio and TV commercials advertising condoms and abortion clinics. Why? Because such ads will make all the people who see them want to jump into bed with anyone they meet and have crazy, uncontrollable, hot sex. Read: 20 Relationships And Technology Dos And Don'ts
More specifically, the Mail Online states that abortion clinic ads are "sexy," that they "encourage promiscuity," and that they "send the wrong message to women" (conveniently, they don't mention men). Among these "wrong messages": that "sex is fine."
As Dr. Mark Pickering (their so-called "expert") claims: "TV is a powerful medium that gives young people the message that sex is fine...Allowing abortion services to advertise on TV would then be saying, 'Here's a quick fix for the consequences of having sex.'" Read: Abortions Rise With The Recession
We have some questions for Dr. Pickering and the Mail Online.
First, what ads are these that manage to make abortion clinics look sexy? We've watched a lot of TV in our lifetimes and have yet to see an advertisement for any clinic—reproductive or otherwise—that comes across as sexy.
Second, what's so bad about young people thinking sex is fine? Is it better to send them the message that sex is wrong? That it's shameful? That one of their body's major organ systems shouldn't even exist?
Third, will removing mentions of contraception, safe sex and abortion from the media actually make contraception, safe sex, and abortion go away? We have no reason to think so. Read: Bristol Palin's New Take On Sex-Ed
How's about you, gentle readers: Do you think condom manufacturers and abortion clinics should be allowed to advertise on TV and radio stations? Does being exposed to sexy advertising make you want to have loose sex? Do you feel that teenagers and young adults are as susceptible to advertising messages as little kids? And if so, would you like to run down to the mall with us and pick up the new and improved version of Hungry Hungry Hippos?