“Friends of Science” — not so friendly
I never write about clients that advertise and support my broadcast fees. I never complain about clients — quite the opposite in fact. News 95.7 Halifax and 88.9 Saint John and 91.9 Moncton, have all been particularly effective in cutting through the clutter and not just capturing the listener, but motivating the listener to actually become a customer of the people who advertise. I would argue that our listeners are more engaged with advertisers than any other station that I have ever heard or worked at. Local advertisers have told me this too.
As a free-marketer I welcome all comers. You can advertise whatever you want, as long as it complies with broadcast standards. Please contact our sales department or email Shannon Tilley (Shannon.firstname.lastname@example.org) and he will set you up with a great radio campaign.
We are glad to have you aboard.
I even welcome “flat earthers” to our advertiser fold. These are special interest groups or organizations that promote an agenda that may be kind of daffy, odd and of narrow interest. In the case of the “Flat Earthers” they are folks who may promote “clean coal” (an oxymoron) or the fact that this or that petroleum company works “for a greener tomorrow” and also invests in that regard (preposterous and a lie). You know the commercial spots: “Big oil is on your side” etc. Then you might see shots of the countryside and the smiling faces of children and then shots of concerned scientists in lab coats darkly scrutinizing a vial and holding it to the light, discerning your future, looking out for your family. Just what Big Oil is supposed to do.
While we may be used to this kind of perfidy from the coal and oil industry (and their respective lobbies) I was shocked to hear a commercial on our stations that tendentiously attacks the scientific study of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming. This organization has been funded by the oil industry and their lobbies and agents (shall we say oil industry related people); moreover, “Friends of Science” went to great efforts to conceal that fact according to Kevin Grandia, Desmogblog editor and head researcher for “The Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.”
Put it this way: when a murder happens you look for motive and means, right? The same holds true for global warming deniers. The oil and coal industry has a lot to lose with the green revolution, cap and trade schemes, alternative fuels, etc., and a general suppression of demand and major developed world abandonment. The less public support there is for research in alternative fuels etc., the longer the hydrocarbon party can go on. Even a small delay in kicking the oil habit means untold billions.
With such big money involved, sowing the seeds of doubt has a huge payoff. So, despite the egregious lies, it is worth it.
Years from now, it will be very interesting to revisit these “Friends of Science” commercials and their hilarious false declarations. They sound dated now.
The last time radio or TV audiences experienced this kind of industry push-back occurred with the tobacco lobby. They actually had doctors going around smoking and saying cigarettes tasted great.
They were desperate then too; sunset industries always stamp their little feet before the end.
All I can say to the oil lobby is this:
“Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
And please call Shannon Tilley.
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