Oh-oh ads

I often watch the video podcast version of Australian Broadcasting’s Media Watch mainly because I’m amazed that the format works. Who’d think that media criticism, especially of print and even of online, could work on video? But it does, thanks to the tough attitude of the host, Monica Attard — I expect to see her come out in leather and studs some week — and to their entertaining conceit of having different people voice the clips they’re talking about, with attitude. Even its slogan is cheeky: “everyone loves it until they’re on it.” ABC Radio, too, has pretty good criticism and reporting in the Media Report, which is also available as a podcast. I have Aussie media on the mind because I’m talking at Murdoch’s Carmel confab of his worldwide editors this week. But even aside from that, I enjoy checking in with Australian media — as I do UK media, of course, on the Media Guardian podcast — because it’s interesting to see our parallel issues around the globe.

This week’s Media Watch has a great segment — with the best collection of examples I’ve ever seen — on unfortunate adjacencies of content and ads on TV and especially online. I pulled put two segments together here:

Note, too, that this is one of the inherent problems with contextual advertising. No machine will ever truly understand the context. Better to talk to people than around content, eh?

  • Sometimes you don’t even need stupid machines for those unfortunate advertising environments – a stupid editor is enough. Here ist a famous example from Germany. Next to an article about victims of the holocaust is an ad of E.ON – one of Germany’s biggest natural gas suppliers. It says something like “Today E.ON is already arranging for the gas of tomorrow”. (No fake.)

  • If you like Media Watch then I recommend you check out The Chaser’s War on Everything. These guys are currently running a muck in Sydney and are racking up some quality numbers for the ABC. Hilarious!

  • ChrisPer

    The problem is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is a government-funded retirement home for like-minded lefties. Despite being a modern, professional and effective media organisation, the world does not exist except through the dark prism of politically correct prejudice.

    Media Watch is terrific – as long as you want to bash ‘right-wing’ talk radio personalities, tiny country newspapers and capitalist NewsCorp outlets. The more PC contibutors, Fairfax and Media Watch Itself get a free pass 98% of the time.

    They turned out tens of thousands of dollars worth of film crews to film a 12-man old buffers club debate on whether the ABC should be privatised (www.IPA.org.au, a tiny non-leftist think tank), then spent a whole week’s program ripping contemptuous shreds off this harmless, low-profile exercise in free speech.

    Yes, I agree they are good when they are good, but they are a microcosm of the worst in public broadcasting too.

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