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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

A Code of Ethics for Actors and Presenters of TV Commercials?

I have previously noted on this Web Log that journalists in the National Union of Journalists have a code of conduct or ethics about truthfulness. Yet it strikes me from the way that the hegemony of televised adverts for what can be euphemistically called 'the Financial Services Industry' by strength of repetition, repetition, and repetition contribute to 'manufacturing consent'(1) for what Mo Stewart refers to as 'the corporate demolition of the welfare state'.(2)

One of the biggest UK-based branches of the 'Financial Services Industry' is Legal & General (aka L&G), that has extremely close links with UK Government L&G's 'For a more colourful retirement' adverts targeted at homeowners aged 55 or over for Equity Release [sic] are repeated ad nausea on daytime TV, alongside adverts for various charities' downsized versions of Lotto.(3)

It is little wonder to me that the paid actors involved in this TV commercial are so jaunty: Think of the millions of pounds they are likely to be making in repeat fees while these commercials are shown again and again.

Likewise there are the presenters of TV commercials for 'funeral protection' schemes. I have already commented via this News Forwards site about Alan Titchmarsh's involvement with 'Sun Life', and of course there are other paid presenters. Do these 'celebrities' give a damn about those of us who cannot afford such payments on our ever diminishing State Pensions after decades of under-supported jobsearch?

And do they really consider properly researching the 'services' or 'products' they are promoting?

I look forward to hearing from others, including members of the acting profession, on this matter, and how the funding of Culture, Media and Sport can be addressed properly so that culture, media and sport are not forced into a kind of 'prostitution' that serves the interests of institutions that make society more unhealthy, such as
  • 'Big Soda' that has replaced tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and adopted the strategies and tactics formerly adopted by the tobacco industry, and
  • Junk food manufacturers with their industrial impoverishment of workers via zero hours contracts and the like.
I have commented elsewhere about Direct Line Landlord Insurance adverts that promote the practice of landlords evicting tenants who have difficulties keeping up with their rent payments, while more attention should be paid to why tenants increasingly experience difficulties paying rent.

Alan Wheatley


(1) Manufacturing Consent was the title of a book by American Noam Chomsky, and while our welfare state is being increasingly demolished under successive neoliberal governments, so too does daytime and even evening television advertising financing become more and more dominated by those who stand to gain considerably from ever-increasing privatisation and deepening social inequality.
(2) I highly commend the research by Medically retired RAF medical veteran Mo Stewart into how the American Health Insurance giant Unum Provident/Unum pioneered the 'disability denial factory' regime of UK government disability benefit testing and became principal advisers to successive UK Governments in steering the corporate demolition of our welfare state, even while it was outlawed in several US states and nations.
(3) Lotto has long been 'a tax targeted at poor people', while community centres have become more and more reliant on The Big Lottery Fund, while they have become increasingly involved with 'data mining' on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund.

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