By Alan Graner
Do you skip ads on TV, ignore them on the internet, avoid them whenever possible? Ever wish they’d all simply go away?
Be careful what you wish for.
A world without ads would be very different…and not necessarily better.
Newspapers would disappear because they can’t afford to publish without ad support. (What, you thought your subscription covered the cost? Not even close.)
Without ads most magazines would cease publication except non-profits like National Geographic and Consumers Reports. The alternative would be to charge enormous subscription fees. Are you willing pay $250 annually for a subscription to BusinessWeek?
Trade publications would also go pfffft.
TV and radio as we know it would change drastically because (spoiler alert!) the only reason radio and TV stations offer programming is to get you to watch/listen to the commercials. Imagine a future without ads where you pay a subscription fee to watch CBS or endure constant pledge drives to listen to a local radio station.
True, pay-per-view might result in significantly better programs, but there would be a lot fewer of them.
And where would you get your news? Without ad support, no news organizations could afford to pay reporters unless they charged enormous subscription fees.
Say goodbye, too, to professional sports as you know it. Are you willing to pay the equivalent of a season ticket for each sports team you follow?
Without advertising the American economy would surely decline. How would companies introduce new products or alert you about sales or even tell you their location(s) without TV, radio and newspapers. Fliers? Blogs like this one? Perhaps.
Truth is, a lot of what we take for granted today is supported by advertising.
So the next time you start griping about the 5,000 or so ad impressions that pummel you each day, remember: There’s really no such thing as “free.”
Agree or disagree?
Image: Public domain via Wikimedia
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA business public relations and marketing content firm. For content that makes you stand out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at email@example.com. Or visit www.dsprel.com.