One of the things that amazed us about TV in the US was the state of advertising on TV. We all know there's a lot of TV in the US and it's continually punctuated by adverts, but Claire and I were surprised about the types of adverts and their frequency.
For a start, they actually have adverts for the spam you get in your email. Whilst we were there we saw adverts on TV for Viaga, Cialis and free credit reports, just to name a few, and these weren't only limited to late night TV either. The radio isn't much better with Blue Collar Comedy on Sirius airing an advert aimed at men that promises to "make you thicker and wider". I'll leave the rest to your imagination, but lets just say the radio advert didn't. Surprisingly, there were very few "lady product" adverts.
Another very common advert, both on TV and the radio, was for prescription medication. They all went along the lines of "Have you got X, Y and Z? Then tell your doctor you want new ABC from DEF. It'll change your life". The advert would then go on for at least another minute or two explaining all the side effects. The whole format of the advert seemed really odd; they spend 30 seconds telling you why the product is so good and how you should be telling your doctor how to do his job, and then they spend nearly three times that time telling you why it's bad for you (it may even kill you) and why your doctor should really be advising you on what you should be taking. Seemed contradictory to me.
One of the most annoying things about the advertising it they'd slot in an advert at the very end of a program just before the closing credits. It wasn't even like they'd put them at a cliffhanger point either. The program was finished and any fool knew the only thing coming would be the credits.
I know why it's done: any exposure is better than no exposure, but it seems a bit excessive. That said, this is coming from someone who loves the fact there are no adverts (other for the BBC themselves) on the BBC channels. I don't mind paying a license fee for that.