The Birth of Advertising

I feel like smacking somebody upside the head. I mean a good hard smack. One that makes his head jerk back and his teeth crack together. What were you thinking?

I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself.

It’s Easter evening, and–Oh Joy!–AMC is running a Shirley Templethon. Perfect! I’ve wanted to introduce my kids (4 and 5) to the wonders of Shirley Temple. I’ve also [secretly] wanted to watch those heartwarming movies again.


So I recorded them.

Commercials and all.

And therein lies my distress–and the cause of my anger.

One moment, I’m snuggled with my children enjoying Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, listening to sweet Shirley sing those classic tunes…. A roaring fire warms the family room. Hot coffee. Cushy blankets. Full tummies. Mom and Dad and kids all transported to another time and place, when WHAM, what are we treated to?


Real commercial as I recall it: [names and products have been changed]

Hello. I’m [fake] Dr. Flim-flam. Men, do you want to enhance your sexual performance? Did you know that you can enlarge that oh-so-important member? Make the ladies lust for you? You need Hubba-Dubba…

What the…?

It’s Shirley Temple, for crying out loud! Rebbeca of Sunnybrook Farm! “Animal crackers in my soup…!” What marketing genius thought that male-enhancement was a suitable product for a Shirley Templethon? And not just once, but throughout both of the movies we watched… male-enhancement. Over and over again. And then… the BRA sales-event-of-the-galaxy at Macy’s. Lord, help me!

Maybe the Amish are right.

I lunged for the remote control. Fast fwd. Fast fwd. Fast fwd.

“Daddy, why are you fast forwarding?”

Because lots of grown-ups are greedy, perverted morons who need to be publicly flogged and put to bed without their dinner until they learn the meaning of the words FITTING and SUITABLE and CHILD-FRIENDLY. That’s what I think. Do you really think that the demographic that needs fraudulent male enhancement products is watching Shirley Temple? God help us all!
But what I say is, “Because those commercials are silly.”

A Far Side comic I saw years ago had this picture: a bunch of little men in suits who were holding briefcases being, ummm, dropped out of the hind end of a horse. The caption read, “The birth of advertising.”




3 thoughts on “The Birth of Advertising

  1. You can join (and encourage others to join) or They organize email campaigns against idiotic behavior like that and get results. Not quite as satisfying as that slap upside the head but it’s better than doing nothing. 🙂

    Check it out

  2. Amen, brother! One would think every single male on the planet needs Hubba-Bubba-Dubba! Nauseating!

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