As Katja and I discussed in our podcast on ads, most people we know talk as if they hate, revile, and despise ads. They say ads are an evil destructive manipulative force that exists only because big bad firms run the world, and use ads to control us all.
I think another comparison would compare ads with taxes:
Taxes are also generally unliked. We understand that they are needed but we try to work at the border of what is legal. Same with the ads we try to skip: We understand that they provide some value to some people but those we do not like we'd like to skip. People hate ads like they hate taxes.
> Robin has failed to establish that ads are as good as news.
I don't think he is required to. He points out one commonality and there is one. There are difference he could have addressed and maybe these are decisive.
For example why do people pay for news but not for ads? Because the incentive structure for news is to be interesting for readers while the incentive structure for ads is to create paying customers. And though there apparently is some overlap (see Superbowl ads) there seems to be sufficient structure to specialize.
Maybe people trust news more than ads because news is harder to falsify. We know the depictions of food in ads are unrealistic because we've seen the food, for example. So we learn that we are being mislead for profit. But with the news, we have no experience that contradicts it. How many people become angry when they read news on subjects familiar through personal experience? If news covered familiar subjects more often maybe more would realize it is also misleading them for profit.
I think that many don't believe ads affect their desires. I've asked a few of my friends, and they seem to think that ads exist to persuade people stupider than themselves. This partly explains, I think, their willingness to watch ads.
I think that smart people outside the internet rationalist sphere and associated spaces believe themselves to be exceptions to many patterns of human behavior--they look at others being superstitious, or adopting identities from brands, and rather than conclude that they must be doing similar things, they conclude that stupid people are different.
I think if my friends shared your views about the influence of ads, they would pay more to avoid them; so don't conclude that how little such people pay indicates their acceptance of the influence of ads.
I have too, and concluded that ads and news are about equally bad, on average, and research much better.
kebko that is exactly what it is http//www.unn.edu.ng
But, to say they don't would be irrational..
I choose ad-based channels. With ad-block enabled. Would choose payment-based channels if those existed.
They do. For example, HBO and Showtime.
The principle: Commercial news is interested in selling itself; advertising is interested in selling something else.
ADDED. This feels like an exercise comparable to when Wiblin posted his untimely April Fool's joke.
Does advertising create desires? I think the question is unresolved after considerable research a while ago. But recent work on ego depletion (aka "decision fatigue") shows that it isn't necessary that advertising create wholly new desires; it need only make some desires salient that we might prefer to remain suppressed (such as for products we can't afford). Advertising creates and exploits impulse control problems. (See my ego-depletion series: http://tinyurl.com/cornlgc )
"People pay to see news and research, whereas advertisers must pay to be seen. Doesn't that establish a basic difference?"
Plus, I remember when DVRs first came out, advertisers and broadcasters were really worried and incensed about features like "30 second skip" or "identify ads based on wave carrier features, skip". Apparently the experts concerned felt that viewers would avoid ads given sufficiently convenient ways of doing so.
Exceptions are notable: many people watch the Super Bowl for the ads as much as for the game; apparently those are considered an art form or something.
I think Damien got it right. Advertisers are on net strongly incented, *and* enabled, to informationally manipulate, deceive, *and* intrude on a massive scale. People correctly perceive the results, and don't like it. This is mitigated by some ads' entertainment value and by some consumers' being less info-intensive than others.
Categories whose info producers are strongly incented to manipulate and deceive but are *not* generally capable of intrusion to the same scale/degree as advertisers (PR flacks, celebrity lawyers, tabloid newspapers, political party chairs) do get their share of disrespect, but to earn the public's full measure of ire one must also be intrusive on a grand scale. Which is to say, one must be an advertiser*:-)
*For present purposes I'm sloppily grouping state propoganda machines with commercial advertisers. Actually the former deserve a category (and brand of contempt) all their own, but that is a separate topic.
Why would you so cruelly deprive us of the important information contained in those ads?
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People from countries with pervasive low quality media (US, UK) tend to hate those bad media, but not the remaining good media and therefore not the media as a whole. Still, even Fox News can be trusted to not lie about tomorrow's weather forecast, ad makers would tell you 1+1=3 if they thought it would help sell their product, they even recommend healthy people to take medicines with dangerous side effects. Newsmedia and ads are on completely different levels, different orders of magnitude when it comes to reliability. So just because even the BBC can't be trusted to always be 100% accurate doesn't mean people should hate it like they do ads, which aren't always 100% wrong.
In addition people have more respect for genuine attempts at persuasion (me trying to change your mind because I really believe a cause to be good for humanity) than persuasion with commercial goals (me trying to get you to make me rich by buying something you neither need or want and could even hurt you). Is this a bias? Of course it is. Is it a bad bias? No, being interested in someone else ideas of improving the human condition is a sensible survival strategy while trusting every commercial type you meet is a assured way to get yourself (and the people you know) screwed over.
There are inefficient equilibria in news and research as well, and as structured those are also quite often nowhere near the best way to create or spread info. Yet people hate ads but not the other two.
"We" do not see this positive correlation, at least I don't. Last time I checked a drink with elektrolytes in it wasn't better and a neither was a car with a bikini girl ad. What you may be talking about is people being more pleased with produtcs they buy because of ads, but that's no indication of quality, it could very well be a defense mechanism of the brain and/or a self-fulfilling prophecy (if you fall for the ad you are not good at judging the product itself and that means the ad becomes the standard by which you judge the product). Ads were banned in medieval Europe, that didn't stop people from buying the products they actually wanted and needed.