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By Any Other Name

Broadcast Date: September 25 & 27, 2008 (Originally Aired March 8, 2007)

Listen to this episode as streaming audio (runs 27:30)


Previous Comments (7)

This is a great programme. Thank you.

Siegfried, July 19, 2008 3:27 PM

You've been a favourite around our house, even though one of the chief reasons I don't watch TV is because of the commercials. You offer a frank, insider's look.
Yes, as one programme said, advertising performs an essential service. But there's also the deceit (you mentioned the subliminal fakery of The Hidden Persuaders),the fudged facts, and the ways ads have sometimes influenced content for the worse. I've never heard you tell how the Coke ad for "the real thing" with all the young folks singing on a hillside "I'd like to get the world to sing" was dubbed. The real thing, all right.
And recently, there was SCENTS. When we used to get our Time with a stinky men's cologne page (who anoints themselves with that stuff? unfortunately, I know, smell-scent-wise), we threw the whole issue away. Fruitless letters to the mag. Then a lowly subscription maintenance person told me, Oh, we can send it to you w/o the scents. Why didn't one of you guys tell me? One can skip over a print ad one doesn't like or use a remote, but a scent is inexorable. Just another way advertising extends its ubiquity. Rap that with iniquity.
Thanks anyway.

Harold Remus, July 21, 2008 4:19 PM

Hi Harold:

Hey, thanks for the note.

And we hear you. And we couldn’t agree more with your concerns about the ubiquity of ad messages. And we’re with you 100-stinkin’-percent on perfume-sampled magazine ads.

Call us optimists, but we like that your awareness of the messages flying (and smelling) around you help bolster a point we’re constantly making: that people (you, for instance) simply aren’t fooled by deceptive messages or techniques; that only earnest, honest marketing works: the rest, sooner or later, will be found out, marched to the town square, and issued a meaningful, well-deserved wedgie.

A small clarification: we have indeed mentioned Vance Packard’s “The Hidden Persuaders”, but only to debunk it. As we did James Vickary’s famous “subliminal advertising” experiments of 1957, whose findings, it was later revealed, were themselves fake.

Terry put it thus:
“Have any advertisers actually tried subliminal advertising? Maybe. Has the subject ever come up in my 25 years in the Ad business? Not a once. Of course…


...that’s what we want you to believe.”

Mike Tennant, July 22, 2008 10:27 AM


My whole family, young and old love your program, as it teaches us to think differently as media hits us in daily events. Your stories are amazing and the advertising history is better than fiction could ever write it to be.
You are truly a gem in the CBC radio programming. I listen for your shows always.

Thank you for great content in an age of mediocrity.

Vince Oppedisano, July 22, 2008 7:56 PM

Thank you, Vince. Music to my ears. I am particularly happy to read that your family listens, young and old. A client told me the other day that her 16 year old daughter listens to the show with her 16 year old friends, and that was amazing to me. It goes to show you how smart and curious our children are. What a generation they will be.

Thanks again for your kind comments.

Terry O'Reillly, October 28, 2008 10:03 AM

I met a man with the company name of Sailors Exchange. His web address, which totally surprised me and of which he was not happy about when I pointed it out, was www.sailorsexchange.com or Sailor Sex Change.

lori johnson, February 8, 2009 2:03 PM

I'm listening to this because it's part of my Assignment for the marketing course. I found this very interesting. Thank you for making this wonderful program! Keep on the good work!

Sophie*, March 24, 2009 5:59 PM
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