Car Advertising

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Comments 8

I’ve just finished watching the Bond movie on ITV. Nothing overly exciting about that but this “family” movie was sponsored by a particular brand of 7-seater SUV. Now I’m not sure that any Bond movie could be described as “family”. I think your average 4, 5, 6, 7 year old would find it totally boring though I would have to think that a 7-seater SUV would be a family car and likely to contain the odd 4, 5, 6, 7 year old passenger or two. I also think that those youngsters don’t have a particularly good quality of life to look forward to given that we are rapidly destroying it with our indecent love for oil and all things that use it.

I’ve also been seeing adverts for a particular brand of 7-seater SUV (not the same one) that extols itself as being the lowest emitter of CO2 of any 7-seater SUV. Now it seems to me that there just aren’t that many different 7-seater SUVs out there so such a claim is pretty useless really isn’t it?

There are also those lovely adverts showing how SUVs cope with those really steep mountain-sides, how they cope with snow, how they can ford shallow rivers, how they can cope with roads with an inch of ice on them and all with just a single driver, no passengers in them. Umm. Excuse me for asking but where exactly in Britain are you going to find all this stuff? We aren’t really a mountainous country apart from maybe Scotland but even there I’m not sure I’d really call them mountains, and you don’t have to drive up them. As for snow, we haven’t had any decent amount for years even in Scotland resulting in a decline of the “winter holiday” up there. I can’t compare the rare patch of black ice now and again on the odd truly frosty mornings with the thick ice shown in the adverts. As for fording shallow rivers, ordinary cars can do that so come on. Get real!

Then we have all the car adverts that tell us about the 0% finance you can now get. Of course they are having to do this to attract new buyers because of the current financial pinch that everyone is feeling here. What they fail to mention and hope you don’t remember is that one of the major causes of this “pinch” is the record-high cost of oil which in no small part has been caused by our greedy use of this commodity. What are we using it for? Cars of course. Gee what a conundrum for the poor advertising agencies (and the word “poor” isn’t used in any monetary sense).

But the real problem here is all you people out there who keep falling for all this shite because you have to drive everywhere, in a car that is faster or a car that is bigger than your friends’ or the next-door neighbours’, even to the point that not all drivers of 7-seater SUVs have a partner to put in them let alone a bloody family!

Add to all this something I’ve previously moaned about, namely the wanton, immoral waste of decent farmland taken up with the growing of pointless and expensive “bio-fuel crops”. I will make it quite plain to all you private motorists out there. People are going to starve to death just so that you can drive your lump of scrap metal around. That’s right. Driving your car has now overtaken human life in importance and that is a fact. I hope you all feel proud of yourselves.

For me, driving motor cars has replaced smoking as the new “anti-social habit”. Let’s be quite frank. Cars kill far more people, both directly, as in accidents and passively, as in CO2 emissions, particulates and taking the food out of peoples mouths than any amount of smoking did.

Now if it were left to me I would just ban private motoring. None of you need them. You never have. Of course that would be a little extreme wouldn’t it? I can hear the squeals already. Sounds a bit like a bunch of pigs at the abattoir. Oh the glee I would feel. Still, something has to be done and pretty quickly so why don’t we start by banning car advertising? We did it with cigarettes. Then the next step would be to make it illegal to drive a private motor vehicle with less than 2 adults in it. Then we could take the registration plate numbers and only allow odd numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, even numbers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and none at all on Sundays.

All just ideas until someone with authority has the balls to DO something that will make a real difference and do it NOW!

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Comments

  1. Peter

    I’d love to ban cars too stu. I can’t see it happening. Meanwhile we can keep supporting efforts like this oxfam one re biofuels.

  2. Stuart

    I’ve moaned about so-called “green” bio-fuels before Peter so it’s good to see I’m not the only one that has a problem with them.

  3. Stef

    Nice article, as usual.

    As a car-owner I’d like to agree that cars are plain rubbish. Like Peter I can’t see anything stopping them right now. Why? Like smoking, they generate too much income for the people at the top. And cars aren’t the root problem.

    I made a decision a few years ago to downsize to a smart car. Pulling up to traffic lights I can fit my car nearly three times into one of those soccer-mom SUVs called a “Warrior” that are all the rage. My car won’t go off-road without crying. My car won’t go faster than 84mph. Yet bizarrely I seem to get more attention from other people when driving it than the playas in their penis extensions or the girls in their Galaxies.

    Sure, driving around in a bone-shaking motorised rollerskate is an experience. But it’s the most fun I’ve had driving in the past 18 years of motoring (mind you, that’s not saying much). Financially it’s £35 road tax a year and I can do 400 miles on a 30-litre tank of petrol.

    Could I live without it? Certainly. I’m in an organic box scheme to supplement what we get from the garden. The rest of the stuff I go to market / the butchers for. I could go on the bus which uses fossil fuels, or walk, but it’s doable.

    I’d have to work from home: no problem. But the extra fossil fuels I use to power my house during the day would probably negate my car’s carbon footprint. Probably.

    It’s 16 miles by road to work. I could get the bus/train. I’d leave my house at 6:30am, go into Cov city centre by bus, walk for 10-15 minutes to the train station, get the train to Birmingham, walk to Snow Hill station, wait, get the train out to Coleshill then walk up the hill to work. Is that better for the environment? Not sure, my car’s 95% recyclable.

    I costed it out. I can (just) get to work by 9am that route. At a little shy of £20 a day + a 2-2.5 hour commute each way. Versus 25 minutes (max) in my 4-wheel hairdryer – and that’s taking the back streets, not the M6 which I loathe. I can repeat that journey 12 days in a row for £35.

    To effect mass change, clearly something has to give. As you rightly claim, biofuels are a waste of energy and land, dreamed up by the tossers who make the policies to go to war to secure oilfields to line their own pockets. There’s enough daylight (when we have a summer) to power most of the country but are solar panels subsidised? Hell no. Why? No long-term financial gain.

    [ Incidentally, bottled water is interesting: I read somewhere that if you fill a 1-litre plastic bottle up to 1/4 volume with crude oil, that’s how much impact it uses to capture, process, manufacture and distribute that 1 bottle. Are the corporations taken to court over it? No. Are we penalised for putting that plastic bottle in our dustbins? Yes. ]

    The root problem, imho, is our quest chasing worthless bits of paper that state “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of…”

    Why do I need a car? To get to work, as there is no viable alternative. Why do I need to work? Good question. Is it for my own pleasure or to generate taxes for corrupt governments to fritter away on suppressing my liberties?! Or is it in order to afford cars and products made by corporations that also pay taxes to said corrupt governments? Why do the governments need taxes? To pay back the loans they take out from the people that print the cash. Why do the banks and their private financiers need money? They don’t; they can print it!

    So how about we take the power away from the handful of people that print the money and give that power back to us, the majority. Then we’re on our way to a real revolution :-)

  4. Stuart

    Hi Stef. Some nice points there. I would agree that for most people getting to work and back is probably the most important reason for having a car. I like that you’ve down-sized to a Smart car. Good move. Now if everyone did that we’d be going in the right direction though I’m not sure that Coleshill is it. :grin: Maybe a new job in Coventry? But there’s part of the problem isn’t it? Why can’t people work nearer to where they live more than they do now? Or live nearer to where they work?

    As for your problems getting to work via public transport, that is something that would need radical re-organisation. I would hope that as car usage declines more money, public as well as private, would be pumped into bus, rail, coach and tram services, not only to increase available services but to improve comfort. As car usage decreased this would help improve travel times as there would be less traffic about to slow things down.

    Also, why can’t we have a system like the Americans do for special school buses? Keep all those SUVs off the road at 9 o’clock in the morning and again in the afternoon.

    Now your bottled water point brings to mind something that’s rankled me for some time now. What happened to paper carrier bags? Whenever you go shopping what you end up with is loads of plastic. I know some of it is “bio-degradable” but even that can take some years to degrade. And what does it degrade to I wonder? It does seem odd though that if I go into Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys or Asda I end up with plastic bags but if I go into HMV I get a paper carrier. Well done HMV I say and they are pretty strong bags too, very re-usable. I know most of the supermarkets have these “bag-for-life” campaigns but I also know that the Tesco’s “bag-for-life” is still plastic. I have one. Why can’t they be cotton? I know they would cost more but you have to buy your “bag-for-life” anyway so if, like me, this kind of thing bothers you, you wouldn’t mind paying a bit extra. Yet again I feel that the Americans have the right idea here. Whenever I see them shopping on TV I see paper carriers not plastic though I may not be seeing things as they truly are being TV.

  5. Stef

    Not trying to steer this too off-topic but yeah, the plastic bag thing is daft. Note yet again how the onus is pushed back on us as if it’s our fault that we use plastic bags. The bag for life thing and ‘loyalty points if you re-use your bag’ schemes seem to be a pretext for charging per carrier. As you say, why not use recycled paper bags instead? Makes so much sense.

    And just because I didn’t use a bag on a particular day doesn’t mean that Tescos make fewer. The pack still contains 5 gazillion bags. They’ve still been manufactured, it’s simply a new revenue stream for them. Poor blighters only made 2.8 billion pounds profit last year; enough to buy the GDP of Barbados in petty cash!

    Packaging is my biggest bug bear. Easter eggs are the most ridiculously overpacked but there are thousands of unnecessarily packaged items; anything in a cardboard box with a plastic window for a start.

    They print things like “made from recycled whajamajig” or “biodegradable plastic” (yeah, in 100 years!), but it was still produced and thus wasted energy during that process.

    Are councils planning to weigh our bins and charge by weight for disposing of over-packaged items? Yes. Are the manufacturers penalised for crap packing in the first place? No because they fund government and give back-handers for sponsorship (look at motorway service station signs. No longer are there merely “Services: 12 miles” they are now accompanied by pictures of the KFC Colonel or an M&S logo or the Costa Coffee logo. Some government department receives that kickback somewhere along the line).

    Sweden has its problems, but when it comes to packaging they have the most innovative ideas I’ve seen. Kids are taught from day one about being responsible and those kids don’t just go on to be consumers, they go into industry and design packaging as well.

    Fresh produce is either in paper or if it has to be in plastic it’ll be just shrink-wrapped and printed on the wrapper. No fancy box plus plastic. If stuff has a cellophane window there are pull-tabs that separate them into their component parts for home recycling.

    The best one I saw was a reusable box. You buy the product off the shelf in a box. All the products in the range can be printed on this one box so you can see what each is and they can give you all the nutrition advice etc. Inside the box is the contents in a paper sleeve with the bare minimum printed on it; cooking instructions and expiry. At the checkout you take it out of the box to put it in your (paper) carrier, the box then goes in a special container so the shop can package up the next item that comes from the manufacturer without said box. They just get a handful with their first shipment and can order more when they’re knackered.

    Cuts production costs, cuts packagaging, less fuel used to make the item, no energy expelled in recycling it, fewer garbage trucks on the roads to collect rubbish, the list goes on. It’s genius. Doesn’t work for all products but where they can they do. I like that attitude.

  6. Matt

    The plastic bags are just as popular here in America. I can’t remember the last time I saw a paper bag at a grocery store.

  7. Stuart

    Thanks for the info Matt. I have to say whenever you see an American film or TV programme they always seem to use paper bags in the stores. Maybe it’s a “conspiracy”. :grin:

    I’ll keep an eye open from now on.

  8. MIKEtheBIKE

    Hi
    Good article ! Good rant ! Banning cars ads in public places is a good place to start & is doable; pressurise your local council, target the greenist ones ! Get a bicycle or even an electric bike (charged from a green energy supply) ACT NOW ! REVOLUTION ! !
    MtB

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