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Ban all car ads now!

scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
edited March 21 in Toyota
There is a proposal in the San Francisco Chronicle today to ban all car advertising. The author uses the tobacco ad ban to support the idea.

"In 1969...Congress finally passed a law....ended cigarette ads... forever. I propose..a similar ban on all automobile-related advertising...mitigate the lusting after cars and the need to purchase a new one every few years"

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/02/06/EDG- - U9GJCDM1.DTL
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Comments

  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    One unavoidable consequence of America's freedom of speech is the right to say stupid things. Has the writer of this opinion piece considered the economic consequences of a big drop in auto sales?
  • Would people buy less cars because they see fewer ads on television?

    I don't think so.

    I've always been amazed by the amount of money spent by auto manufacturers on advertising. It seems like the auto industry is single-handedly paying for all of network television.

    Personally, I've NEVER been swayed by a television ad. I buy my cars based on my finances, my wants and my evaluation of (mostly) objective analysis.

    I think that the auto manufacturers think they're going to increase market share by advertising... but I don't think that they're trying to increase market size by advertising.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...that we need to absorb from that article is that there is a large group of people in this country that honestly believe that banning auto ads or legislatively forcing people to buy only bland subcompacts is a reasonable thing to do. They truly believe that the sky is falling and that the average American is too stupid to see it. So only these "enlightened" few who know what's best for us all should be allowed to make these decisions. Let's hope they never get that power. Naturally, none of them understand that some of us actually enjoy driving and love our cars. Such trivialities aren't important if you're "saving the world".
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    Funny thing is these are the same people who often forgo deodorant and are still having promiscuous sex with many anonymous partners without protection while at the same time experimenting with mind-expanding drugs in a consequence-free environment.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...if the sky is falling and the world is ending, might as well have fun, right? ;)
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    If they're right, then the pleasure of driving certainly is trivial.

    They're entitled to try to convince everyone that they're right, and if they do so, and car fans let them, we're screwed. The automotive world could find itself in the same position as the tobacco industry within a few decades. Look at how suddenly that revolt happened. Learn from it. Auto manufacturers and media simply have to appeal to non-enthusiasts to survive, and that includes the moderate environmentalist movement which is moving into the mainstream.

    Right or wrong (and I don't think any of us know as much as we think we do), it's a good business decision to maintain a good name.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    It's just one guy's opinion and he's a travel writer, not a politician or lobbyist, so I wouldn't panic about it.

    There will always be people in our society, on both ends of the political spectrum, who seek to protect us from ourselves or police our individuality morality. Make sure that you let them know that you aren't in need of their help, irrespective of whether they are liberals or conservatives.

    (FYI, Lemko, as one of those promiscuous types myself, I find that the deodorant actually helps with that...)
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    well, you seems to be quite informative above their lifestyle...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,008
    Waittaminute, you mean these people are French?! :P
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,813
    What an idiotic idea. Personally speaking, ads do nothing to make me want a car. I think a lot of people simply either want the status conveyed by a machine, or actually have an attraction to the machinery itself.
  • the ads actually act in reverse. Seeing a dull, re-designed 2007 Toyota Camry in an ad only makes me pick it to shreds in my mind.

    On the other hand, seeing an ad for an oversized, gas-guzzling (that's not the key negatory reason, either, we're not talking tree-hugging here, we are talking excess)pick-em-up truck or SUV from Motown and associates only helps me solidify my desire for compact and subcompact SUV's and cars.

    It is true, for the car enthusiast, the ads are quick window treatment that do little or nothing to sway their purchase decision.

    Fundamentally though, I would never be in the camp that would advocate a ban of car advertising. Let's ban tobacco TV ads (yes, it's been done) and be real progressive and actually ban alcohol advertsing before we even plop the idea of banning car advertsing on our executive decision table.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Car enthusiasts are probably considered "lost causes" to the anti-car group. They're trying to prevent kids and young people from liking cars, as if it worked exactly the same as cigarette ads (which it sorta does).

    As we become more aware of environmental issues (and their effects become more noticeable), the anti-car group is growing. It's PC, and horsepower isn't. If history is any indication, things that are PC always win out in the long run. (I don't like that, but it seems to be true.)

    Auto manufacturers' PR people really have to address in the next few years, and not by brute force. I think they're going to have to show some self-restraint for the good of their future, and soften up in the eyes of the public. Otherwise at some point, political groups made up of mothers or something are going to be able to press for the kind of government regulations we don't want, and they'll have all the statistics, moral high ground, and quantity of votes.

    You can call them crazy, but they're stupid, and they're only gaining traction.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    "They're trying to prevent kids and young people from liking cars, as if it worked exactly the same as cigarette ads (which it sorta does)."

    Remember the episode where Stan and the gang are forced to watch the lame troupe of dancers/rappers called "Butt Out?" The dancers tell them if they don't smoke, the kids could grow up to be just like them! Then Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny are behind the school chain-smoking a carton of cigarettes.

    Later on they encounter a sweaty, asthmatic, morbidly obese Rob Reiner. He's lecturing everybody about the evils of second-hand smoke while scarfing down one Big Mac after another.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    Has the writer of this opinion piece considered the economic consequences of a big drop in auto sales?

    He focused more on the environmental benefits.

    The auto industry is very important to the economy. It supplys jobs, and simply helps keep the economy running. If we take car ads away, will this effect the economy? Auto sales will go down, resulting in a loss of jobs. There are a lot of consequences we must consider. The writer seemed to ignore these consequences we might face.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    car ads do nothing for me either, unless they have jessica alba in it, but then my wife would switch the channel :( .

    I want to own an ultimate driving machine regardless of what the ad says.

    No wait, I have tmobile becuase I saw what's her name in the commercials, my jaws dropped until my wife stood in front of the TV. Went to check it out and they do have the best deal around. So I think ads do work in everyday purchases, but not so much for an automobile.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    ...that when the economy falls off, nobody gives a darn about the environment. Look at just about any economically depressed area. The environment is awful whether it's an inner city slum in Philadelphia or the cratered, strip-mined mess of the NE Pennsylania anthracite coal region.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    Bingo! When an area becomes economically depressed, the first and only concern is bringing that area back up economically. The environment tends to get better as the depression lifts, naturally.

    I have a knee-jerk reaction when I hear that anyone wants to BAN yet another activity. Banning car ads is rather absurd, and if you follow the reasoning to its illogical conculsions, we could eventually find a reason for banning ALL advertising. I guess I'd really have to get into PBS then.

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  • all the adds in general, including their annoying raise in volume are enough to drive me straight to PBS. Or a satellite movie channel or two or three or four. It's great to watch movies with no commercial interruptions, isn't it? ;)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...that show ads work at all in getting a person to buy a given product? Maybe switch brands, but not actually go out and get something they didn't have before. OTOH, I guess all a manufacturer needs is to steer consumers to its product instead of someone else's.

    Still, call me a born skeptic, but I can't see how the millions thrown into advertising really makes that much of a difference.

    One of the reasons I hardly watch TV are the commercial breaks that go on and on. In the car, I switch radio stations constantly to avoid commercials (except when I listen to NPR).

    And even now when you go to the movies, you have to sit through commercials at the beginning. Previews okay, commercials NO!
  • saw commercials at the movies. Here I am to see a first run movie and expect uninterrupted viewing fun and they start the thing out with commercials...loud and huge! :sick:

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  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    They've ALWAYS had commercials at the theatres. Usually, they were called "Previews of coming attractions" and "Visit our Snackbar!".

    Why be shocked at regular commercials before the feature starts? They've got a captive audience and can make a few more bucks that way.

    What would seriously tick me off would be if they starting dropping commercials into the MIDDLE of the feature. That's when I'd start demanding my money back.....
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    For what it's worth I cannot recall seeing a single television ad for two of the last three cars I bought:

    Honda S2000
    Porsche 911

    I have seen print ads for the 911 in the Wall Street Journal and certain other publications. But I can't even recall ever seeing a print ad specifically for the S2000.

    So what's that say? build a really good car that the press eats up with positive reviews and awards, and you don't have to spend money advertising.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    For what it's worth I cannot recall seeing a single television ad for two of the last three cars I bought:

    Honda S2000
    Porsche 911

    I have seen print ads for the 911 in the Wall Street Journal and certain other publications. But I can't even recall ever seeing a print ad for the S2000, not counting a Honda brand as that might have had the S2000 in a big picture of all of the models.


    My guess is that most car ads are largely used to:
    - Update customers on the latest incentives/ promotions / etc.
    - Inform consumers of a new model launch
    - Remind everyone that they exist, i.e. since you're looking at Camrys, don't forget about our Accord

    Sometimes, ads can be effective for positioning the car as a lifestyle product, as was the case with the Mini and the Beetle, but successful examples of these are the exception, rather than the rule.

    I'd bet that very few people are going to buy a car based upon advertising alone. Many consumers will want to hear good worth of mouth or get positive referrals from people whom they know before taking the plunge.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,893
    I don't think that I'm affected by ads much at all, except maybe for awareness of a product... and that may be the "effectiveness" of advertising.

    But if advertising had the power that some people fear it has (think the cigarette and alcohol ads) then I'd have at least SOME of the hot items in my posession wouldn't I??

    I drive Nissans, but not a Z, even though that GI Joe stealing Barbie from Ken ad was GREAT. :P

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  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    come to think of it:

    M3
    6 series, z4
    mini (maybe i missed it, but I really didn't recall seeing a mini commercial)
    highline mbz - c class only
    evo

    toyota/lexus are on all the time, I think it has to do with locations.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    So some dude wants to ban car ads in San Francisco. Who cares? It's not like it is happening in America.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,217
    Procter & Gamble has based their entire business on the premise that advertising is effective...

    I'm sure they have studies out the ying-yang that prove it, as well...

    Not to mention, Edmunds.com would be out of business without it..

    It really amazes me how many business models are directly attributable to advertising.. Any media or internet business is pretty much all about advertising..

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  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Any media or internet business is pretty much all about advertising..

    It is interesting that, even after dropping 30% in the last month, Google's market cap is still $107 billion. That's approximately 4 times as much as GM ($12 billion) and Ford ($15 billion) COMBINED. what's that tell you about the future of the automotive industry in the US??

    At some point, however, our "eyeballs" can only be worth so much. And advertising expenditures will have to be justified by hard results. I use Google on a daily basis and have NEVER purchased anything advertised on it's website / links. EVER. But don't tell the advertisers, I like the subsidized search engine and Google Earth.

    Speaking of Proctor and Gamble, I learned at the age of 16 (nearly 35 years ago) that shelf space was at least as important as advertising in influencing purchases. I worked as a stockboy in a grocery store. I was in charge of the soap & paper isles (box soap, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.). We were challenged to reduce back room inventory. I bet the store manager I could cut it in half for my isles. I simply gave Wisk more shelf space than ERA, Dove more than Palmolive, Scott Towels more than Bounty etc. until I had won the bet in about 3 weeks. Brand loyalty only goes so far when you are staring at shelves full of Comet instead of Ajax. ;)
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    I find it interesting that the writer uses as an example the ban on tobacco ads, which went into effect in the early 1970s. Like so many of his political stripe, he seems to have forgotten that it is now 2006, and the world has changed considerably in the last 30+ years.

    In his world, everyone gathers around the television to watch ABC, CBS and NBC every night. There are no such things as the TiVO and the DVD. Cable television does not exist. Neither does the Internet.

    I'll bet that most people simply screen out the majority of car ads on television. I do and I'm a car nut. They all look the same.

    For any ban to be effective, it would have to ban newspaper and magazine ads (which runs into First Amendment concerns). I would wager that the big, fat color section of The Sunday Harrisburg Patriot-News containing screamer ads from all of the local dealers entices far more people to buy a new vehicle than all of the television ads put together. That scenario is repeated across the country every week.

    He would also have to ban auto shows, which runs into the constitutional right of the people to peacefully assemble. Good luck on that one.

    Well, he did gets lots of attention - more than he would have gotten by writing another column touting the tourist attractions of the Bay Area. And that was probably the whole point.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    Do you find yourself making more trips to the kitchen?

    It seems like most TV channels have their advertisments running all at the same time.
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