Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The day the ASA really lost it!

I rather like the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), despite some truly screwball rulings when irritating, noisy, and uptight minority groups misuse its services.

Thanks to having the benefit of a year’s worth of legal education, I understand enough ‘legal interpretation’ to understands why some of its more obscure and apparently unreasonable rulings are made.

And there’s no disputing that bad as it is, the advertising we are bombarded with in the UK is still head and shoulders above the disgusting, intrusive, manipulative, and downright tacky and crude drivel seen around the rest of the world.

But sometimes, there little more to be said for some of its ramblings than that suggest someone there has either ‘Lost it’, or is simply abusing their position and influencing decisions to suit their own agenda.

Something along those lines must apply to the decision to rule against Tunnock’s tennis themed billboard ad, featuring a Tunnock’s tea cake and a female tennis player, displayed opposite a major tennis event, which was, amongst things, ruled:

While we acknowledged the ad was placed opposite an arena hosting a tennis match, we considered it nevertheless bore no relevance to the advertised product.

From: ASA Ruling on Thomas Tunnock Ltd

Tunnocks Banned Billboard

Tunnocks Banned Billboard

I call that clever word play, to suit the writer (or their employer) – and something I’m quite familiar (and once proficient at, from my days as a quality systems auditor – and trained to hand out NCNs or non-compliance notes).

STV reported it: Tunnock’s tennis advert ‘offensive and irresponsible’

And the BBC: ‘Offensive’ Tunnock’s Tea Cake ad banned by regulator

Yet another advert, which frankly was ‘iffy’ (and although degrading a male in this case, was probably little different to many cosmetic ads that are degrading to females, yet they get passed).

See: ASA Ruling on Puig (UK) Ltd t/a Paco Rabanne

Much as I hate to do it, this quote from the… Daily Mail probably hits the mark (and saves me from getting tied up in knots with my own ramblings).

DM Tunnocks Ad Article

DM Tunnocks Ad Article

Oh, NOW…

I See

I See


February 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Scotland gains another ‘Dark Sky’ award

I like to give a mention to ‘Dark Sky’ awards made to areas of Scotland, when I’m lucky enough to spot them.

A large area of woodland in hills above Loch Ness has become a Dark Sky Discovery site.

Abriachan Forest Trust has been awarded Milky Way class Dark Sky status, the first location in the Inverness area to receive the certification.

There are other Dark Sky Discovery sites in the Highlands, including Castlehill Heritage Centre near Thurso.

The status is only awarded by Dark Sky Discovery to places with “very clear views” of the Milky Way galaxy.

Via ‘Milky Way’ designation for forest near Loch Ness

It’s a bit of a sad story in a way, and while the subject may not be impinging directly on this newly awarded site (yet?), it does wave the tiniest of warning flags for its future if care is not taken.

I refer to a paper I saw recently, reporting the findings of a survey carried out using a new set of satellite images taken of the Earth as seen at night.

Both worrying and disappointingly, it seems that despite the continuing switch to LED illumination, and efforts through cooperation and legislation to deliver more efficient and directed outdoor lighting sources which should reduce light pollution, artificially illuminated area of the Earth are actually growing BRIGHTER, not dimmer.

It would seem that while we are producing lighting units which use less energy, we are not using that to provide the same lighting for less energy consumption, but maintaining the same budget and pouring out MORE light for the same cost.

Well, that’s my take based on what I see.

Council’s HAVE reduced consumption by using better and more directed street lighting (I’ve even seen some being slated for REMOVING lighting they consider excessive), while commercial interests are simply getting more ‘Bang for their Buck’, and installing brighter lights to advertise their presence, yet paying no more to run them.

Since I won’t be getting anywhere this site any time soon, this random night sky wallpaper scene will have to do.

Dark Sky

Dark Sky

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

There was a 10 k run for men (I forgot)

Well this is irritating, or maybe embarrassing.

I fell ‘Under the Weather’ a while back, and forgot about quite a few interesting pics I’d collected. While most are not time relevant, it seems this one was. Unfortunately, it seems I accumulated quite a few such things, and will have to dig them up and post them.

There seem to be a growing number of adverts being painted onto our pavements, hopefully a vile practice that will not grow, or if it does, will be crushed by officialdom before it becomes excessive. The only good point I see at the moment is that they are generally placed by official organisations, which can be held responsible, and are created using water-based paints with short lives.

If the same scum that spams the web decides this is a good idea (and I already see activist groups with their own questionable agendas are using the method) then we may see not only every wall, pole, lamppost, or similar have illegal fly-posted adverts slapped on them, but also the ground we walk on, and not with degradable paints either.

And the council does little to clear the existing abuse, so I doubt the culprits would have much to fear.

I may be late, and forget where I tripped over this one, such is the amount of time which has passed (well, somewhere around Parkhead or Tollcross), and don’t even remember seeing it mentioned in the news.

Hopefully NOT one of many, or of more to come. (The advert, not the run!)

Pavement Ad Painted 10k Men's Run

Pavement Ad Painted 10k Men’s Run

Maybe all this needs is a few complaints, and this might suffer the same fate as the poor chap who tried to find a girlfriend by throwing a few ‘Messages in a Bottle’ into the sea – and ended up with grumpy locals reporting him for, would you believe… LITTERING!

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

There should be special HELL reserved for web sites that demand you remove your adblocker

Like many (and I suspect especially those who have been around since the start of the Internet and watched its takeover by commercial interests) I use a an adblocker with its setting turned up to ’11’ – aided by some supplementary addons to make that ’11+’.

I have NO INTEREST in a ANY ADVERTS at all.


I have NEVER in my life looked at an advert PUSHED to me (of course, I go looking for, and search for adverts, but only those I am interested in, not being pestered, nagged, or diverted

But this appears to be a message that advertisers, and those that carry their adverts seem unable, or unwilling to comprehend or accept.

They seem to think I am somehow obliged to accept their theft of my bandwidth, and assault on my eyes.

Now, it is becoming common for them to spy on me, and creep around by browser and computer, to sniff out any evidence of the use of an adblocker, and if they find any…

To BLOCK my viewing of their web site, and BLACKMAIL me into removing my adblocker before they will let me in.

The say ‘Please disable your adblocker’ but in reality, their coding is so poor that even doing this often FAILS to allow access, and the blocking CONTINUES.

I say ‘poor coding’ to be generous, but I’m pretty sure this is a deliberate move intended to force uninstallation of the adblockers in the hope the user will not bother to re-install.


Not only will I NEVER EVER remove or disable my adblocker – I will NEVER visit such sites again, or recommend them to anyone.

These intrusive appeals have recently come close to making me send equally rude emails to the offenders, but that would bring me down to their level of depravity.

This image popped up recently on imgur and will now be kept in reserve as a ‘polite’ response to them:

(Be nice if everyone did the same.)

Adblock Blocker Reply

Adblock Blocker Reply

You may also be interested in:

uBlock Origin :: Add-ons for Firefox

June 6, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Advertising & Marketing as seen by Bill Hicks

I’ve just had a few bad experiences after letting some sites (not big well-known ones, but small specialists and hobby enthusiasts) know how I was extremely displeased at recent advertising enforcements they had installed.

One is the presentation of an overlay that appears when you visit the site, begging you to subscribe to something it offers. For me, this appears on EVERY visit to such sites. When I complain, they tell me that it’s my own fault, as they have it programmed to set a cookie that makes it appear on only the first visit. But that ignores the fact that I delete most cookies every time I close my browser, or even when I navigate away from their site. Apparently I’m at fault for not allowing their cookies to live forever.

The other problem that has become more prevalent recently is begging nag boxes, telling me to turn off my adblocker because I am going to be responsible of the end of free web content, and am an evil person.

Again, I get what amounts to abuse in return for pointing out that they are the problem, for demanding I allow ads I will never look at (and boycott any products mentioned) to appear. I block then as they are stealing my bandwidth, and are often offensive to my eye as they are made to be distracting, and ruin any page they are on.

It’s just a pity that those who can properly kill and block online adverts have no spine – I saw a recent series of stories of a developer who wrote an adblocker called ‘Peace’ recently, sold it for a while, then pulled from the store, on the basis that it was ‘too disruptive’ (effective?) and would destroy advertising, or some such nonsense.

I’d say he just sold out, apparently after making $100,000 from it according to online news or speculation, and beat a hasty retreat to safety with the money.

Or maybe the death threats got to him – as I’m sure some advertisers have no scruples about protecting their income stream.

I reckon advertisers are not unlike shoplifter and other thieves. If you have seen them on the TV progs that follow the police, then you will see them fight for the goods they have just stolen, and argue “GIVE ME THAT, IT’S MINE!”

In future, I think I will not bother trying to be reasonable and polite, and pointing out that I am not happy.

I will just send them this video clip of Bill Hicks’ opinion:

September 30, 2015 Posted by | Civilian | , , | 1 Comment

Damned Green Loonies

I wouldn’t normally endorse an advert (Adblock Plus and friends rule in my browser), but the damned Green Loonies succeeded – many years ago – in having car adverts that used speed and/or performance to sell cars banned forever.

I recently saw this Honda advert when it was first shown on TV, and to be honest, I didn’t like it, but only because its presentation gives the impression of ‘shouting’ with the rapid text and drumbeat. However, since a complaint to the ASA was upheld and it was banned for being ‘irresponsible’, I have to do my bit, and make sure it is seen.

Stuff the Green Loonies!

August 20, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye Echofon

BinI don’t normally ‘shoot first and ask questions later‘, but when I finally realised that Echofon’s writers were taking the P out their Firefox add-on users, I hit the Remove button before I thought about how to deal with consequences.

I’ve used it since it first appeared as Twitterfox, and it works well since I don’t use the social aspect of Twitter, and have it as an alert system for a few selected sources. It means I don’t have to check them as they pop up on-screen whenever something happens, and I can read the detail later.

When the latest Echofon update was installed, I initially thought they had just highlighted the latest tweet to arrive. It didn’t look relevant, but sometimes I get retweets, and ignored it at first.

Then I realised that the content was completely irrelevant, and worse, was an unsolicited advert from an American company – as useless in Scotland as a chocolate teapot is to a tea addict.

A quick check of all the available options showed that there was no choice offered, and that all option to block the ad-tweets had been removed. A look at the list of modifications to the most recent version of Echofon showed the inclusion of ads as the last item in the list.

Fortunately, there’s a simple fix to defeat the ads – provided the Echofon folk don’t do something even more underhand.

I checked the Echofon add-on page at Mozilla – they seem to have upset a lot of people, and possibly not simply be the addition of the ads, but by the imposing way they did it, and without warning. You don’t find out until you upgrade, and find the ad permanently planted at the top of your list of wanted tweets. That’s NOT the way to do it, and expect your faithful to remain faithful.

Placing an ad in the most prominent place in an application and forcing users to look at it every time they open the application is not the way to get it accepted.

Even Microsoft did not do something as blatant in its Office 2010 Starter freebie – it may be a nuisance and nag, but at least it’s a nag tucked away in a corner – not in the middle of the page of every document or spreadsheet you open.

Echofon for Twitter :: Add-ons for Firefox

I see it’s review rating has gone from a high of 5 stars (242) to a high of 1 star (348) the morning, after this ad stunt was exposed.

It’ll be interesting to see if anything changes – after all, if the idea of adverts is to bring people in, what do you do with ads that drive people away, and reduce your popularity?

It also makes the tagline that introduced their add-on look a bit sick – Full featured, super clean Twitter app for Firefox.

Super clean?

February 4, 2012 Posted by | Civilian | , , | 5 Comments

Teflon Phorm and BT escape prosecution for secretly spying on subscribers

SpyEven before I learnt how insidious and nasty Phorm was, I had an instant dislike of the company and those behind it.

I don’t like having my time and money wasted by advertising – and I am compelled to pay for advertising as the cost is built into the price of everything I buy.

Phorm seems to think it makes advertising ‘better’ by intercepting people’s web browsing, reading their web pages and inputs, and then serving ads on the pages they are looking at. The idea being it only shows people the ads they are interested in.

Those behind it could potentially make a fortune by selling precisely targeted advertising.

Apparently their twisted minds think this makes things better.


Not having animated adverts and other rubbish clogging most web pages and covering my screen would make things better – something that blocks every advert from my sight forever would make things better (and thank goodness there is such a thing, even if some advertisers have conspired to block all access to some web sites if they find us using it, so we can vote with our feet, and avoid any site that does such a thing).

Back in 2006 and 2007, Phorm and BT conspired to track the browsing of some 18,000 internet users, secretly and without informing them or seeking their permission.

The CPS recently ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute BT and Phorm under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), which makes it an offence to intercept internet traffic without either the user’s explicit consent or a judicial warrant.

How much evidence do they need?

The CPS also said that a prosecution against BT and Phorm “would not be in the public interest”. It said that any offending was “the result of an honest mistake or genuine misunderstanding of the law” and that there was no evidence that anyone “suffered any loss or harm” as a result of the trial.

Since when was ignorance of the law an excuse?

I must try that if I am ever stopped for speeding (Sorry officer, didn’t see the sign, but I didn’t kill anyone, so it is okay and there is no need to report me).

Not surprisingly, BT said it was pleased that the CPS had decided not to prosecute, while Phorm had not returned a request for comment at time news of the “Get out of jail free card” was announced.

(I have noticed a few articles published recently which have criticised the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for not acting, but these are wrong, as this sort of offence simply does not fall under the commissioner’s remit, and unfortunately only demonstrates ignorance on the author’s part.)

The last I heard was that Phorm was off to try to sell itself in countries like Brazil and China – which tells us about their morals.

The potential revenue must be huge if Phorm can impose itself on users, it seems to be a huge money-pit for investors looking at its published accounts: no recorded turnover and a pre-tax loss of $29.35 million (£17.95 million) in 2009 (last full year where this info is available). At it’s best, back in 2006, the American-based company recorded pre-tax losses of $11.54 million, on revenues of $1.27 million.

There is a much more detailed explanation of Phorm, their insidious activities of covert spying, and the weasel worded logic that appears to have aided their evasion of prosecution to be found in this article:

Phorm and the CPS’s playground justice | Richard Clayton | Comment is free |

This seems to omit an earlier revelation made a few years ago, when the matter first came to light, and that was a claim that Phorm was, shall we say ‘blessed’ with unofficial approval to carry on with developing their deep packet inspection techniques.


So that the authorities could have them do the work to develop the method, and then take the same technology and use it to spy on internet use under the umbrella of the need to carry out such monitoring as an anti-terror technique.

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Surveillance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another nail in Phorm’s UK coffin

SpyInsidious behavioural net advertising system Phorm felt another mail being driven into its UK coffin with the announcement that its UK manager director has jumped out of the boat.

When the media asked for a comment, the comment was No comment, and at the time of reporting, there was no indication that the former MD had gone to another job.

Interestingly, he is said to have become part of the operation back in December 2008, when then UK Chief Executive, Financial, and Operating Officers went, together with four other board members, at which point, the company also seems to have decided it would be a good idea to stop including a list of its executives’ names on its web site.

Since the UK ISPs (BT, Talk Talk, Virgin) have pulled the plug on their association with this sneaky organisation that carried out secret testing (with BT, and without customer’s consent or knowledge) of its intrusive behavioural ad-targetting system, seems that we may be seeing the ejection of this thing from our country, although it seems that foreign operators, such as those in countries like South Korea, see this as the sort of thing they want to have Phorm’s method of profiling a user’s every web visit via his/her ISP.

There seems to be some attempt to confuse the issue by comparing Phorm with Google, but the two are quite different, and Google certainly does not have direct access to user’s web history with the collusion of their ISP, as Phorm does. Google is nothing like Phorm, and uses information collected in the course of using its services, and does so cleverly, which has made them their fortune (and clearly made them their enemies too). Google tracking of user history can easily be thwarted by users if they really want to.

If someone tells you Google and Phorm are the same, or even similar, smell a rat, don’t believe them, or better still, have them explain how. They’ll either fail…  lie… or prove their ignorance. Or be part of the “Google is Evil” party, but you should be able to see that lot coming. Read the information – not the propaganda – and that even includes what you might read here, just in case I might be ever so slightly biased against Phorm, and get carried away (before them).

November 18, 2009 Posted by | Surveillance | , , | Leave a comment

US web survey suggests Phorm not wanted there either

SpyAlthough not specifically mentioned, references to behaviour based targeted advertising that monitors what users are doing on the web, and shoves unwanted adverts in their faces is hard not to have the insidious Phorm come to mind when you see the description. As the advertiser burns backers cash and appears to be falling apart as key people leave, an American survey of web users which found that they did not want such advertising has to be sign that it’s not likely to see any friendly faces in America, despite it being a huge market. They’ll just have to keep looking to the east, and countries where the people do as they’re told and don’t ask questions.

The survey found that two thirds of US web users do not want this to happen. It also found that once it explained the actual methods used to track behaviour that figure rose even higher, to between 73% and 86% after three common tactics were explained to them.

I’ve no time for advertisers and marketing people under the best of circumstances, as they dip into my pocket and steal my money to pay for advertising campaigns, artwork, printing, leaflets, promotions, bribes, and who knows what else – all paid for by a percentage added to cost of just about any product on the shelf today. You buy the product, they get your money – guaranteed. They actually do better than the tax-man. He has to get his cut by legal means, and you can get a tax-refund. No such rights for advertising revenue. Just try standing at a supermarket checkout and asking for your £30 bill to be cut by £5 or so because you didn’t buy any of the product in your basket in response to advertising or marketing – you’d be better off waiting for Hell to freeze over.

The American survey also shows the unbearable arrogance of the advertisers, who always insist that people want these adverts, noting: “To marketers, it is self-evident that consumers want customized commercial messages,” the academics’ report says. The survey’s data appear to refute that argument.”

The full survey: Contrary to what marketers say, Americans Reject Tailored Adertising, and three activities that enable it


Contrary to what many marketers claim, most adult Americans (66%) do not want marketers to tailor advertisements to their interests.  Moreover, when Americans are informed of three common ways that marketers gather data about people in order to tailor ads, even higher percentages—
between 73% and 86%–say they would not want such advertising.

These are two findings from the first nationally representative telephone (wireline and cell phone) survey to explore Americans’ opinions about behavioral targeting by marketers, a controversial issue currently before government policymakers.  Behavioral targeting involves two types of activities: following users’ actions and then tailoring advertisements for the users based on those actions. While privacy advocates have lambasted behavioral targeting for tracking and labeling people in ways they do not know or understand, marketers have defended the practice by insisting it gives Americans what they want: advertisements and other forms of content that are as relevant to their lives as possible.

We conducted this survey to determine which view Americans hold.  In high percentages, they stand on the side of privacy advocates.  That is the case even among young adults whom advertisers often portray as caring little about information privacy.  Our survey did find that younger American adults are less likely to say no to tailored advertising than are older ones.  Still, more than half (55%) of 18- 24 year-olds do not want tailored advertising. And contrary to consistent assertions of marketers, young adults have as strong an aversion to being followed across websites and offline (for example, in stores) as do older adults.  86% of young adults say they don’t want tailored advertising if it is the result of following their behavior on websites other than one they are visiting, and 90% of them reject it if it is the result of following what they do offline.  The survey uncovered other attitudes by Americans toward tailored content and the collection of information about them.

The full report runs to some 27 pages, and a brief summary of the relevant point can be found at the following site, together with further links to related subjects: US web users reject behavioural advertising, study finds | Pinsent Masons LLP

October 2, 2009 Posted by | Surveillance | , | 2 Comments

Clueless ITV

A few weeks ago, a chance remark in our Forum alerted me to stories in the media of rumours that Taggart was to be dropped.

In the midst of claims, counter-claims, and denials in the press, I’m not even going to try and confirm or deny this story, but it would be a pretty desperate and misguided management team that “threw the baby out with the bathwater” while cleaning, and dump a series that remains highly popular after more than 25 years. For those unaware of the detail, although Taggart is STV’s best known programme, it is neither commissioned nor paid for by STV, but by the ITV network. In July 2009, rumours persisted of Taggart’s demise, and various claims and stories appeared in the media. All rumours regarding the demise of Taggart are denied by ITV.

However, the point of this entry not the ditching or otherwise of Taggart, serious as that may be, but the repeated assertion in the news at the moment that ITV is in difficulties, with falling revenues from advertising, and presumably viewer numbers.

Perhaps if ITV had sent someone to  the Edinburgh International TV Festival which has just taken place, then they might have heard the talk given by David Simon: BBC NEWS | Scotland | Wire writer says adverts kill TV

The creator of highly-acclaimed hard-hitting TV drama The Wire has said television can only be worthwhile when freed from the constraints of advertising.

David Simon was appearing at the Edinburgh International TV Festival.

He said: “Television as a medium, in terms of being literate and telling stories, has short-changed itself since its inception.

“That is because of advertising.”

Simon, whose work originates on US subscription cable channel HBO, said: “Only when television managed to liberate itself from the economic construct of advertising was there a real emancipation of story.

“American television up until the point of premium cable was about the interruptions every 13 minutes to sell you cars and jeans and whatever else.”

Sell products

He said the adverts became more important than the show.

“You had to bring the most number of eyeballs to that show and that meant dumbing down and making plots simple, gratifying people within the hour.”

He said they achieved this through the use of sex and “more stuff that blows up”.

Simon said HBO gave him 58 minutes where he was not interrupted by the need to sell products.

That meant he could concentrate on developing the story…

I wonder if anyone from ITV actually watches any of their output nowadays? I honestly doubt it. If they did, it surely wouldn’t be the hash it has become in recent years.

The aforementioned Taggart provides a clue. Often repeated on ITV4, it would seem they only have the right to recyle a few episodes now, or no-one can be bothered to walk to the archives and dig out another batch of episodes, so their output is a repeat of a repeat of a…

While the ad-breaks in the short episodes are semi-bearable, and can provide a handy intermission for a tea, coffee, or comfort break, their interruption of the longer special episodes is little short of criminal. And speaking of length, many of the ad-breaks are so long I can boil a kettle and make a mug of tea, together with a slice of buttered toast, and return before the programme has restarted. I can even go and do a timed 3-minute session on my exercise machine, and find the adverts are still running when I return!

First, we are subject to the incessant and mind-numbing repeats of the current sponsors tags at the beginning and end of the episode itself, and then at the beginning and end of every ad-break. The same stupid animation and voice repeated time after time certainly does nothing to convince me to do business with the sponsor. I not only use these things to make a boycott list, but cancelled every policy I once had with Standard Life because the constant repetition of their tags just became an irritation I wasn’t going to be forced to fund.

Second is the near hysterical increase in the rate of repeat of these things as the longer episodes draw to a climax, with the interval between interruptions falling to ten minutes, or less, as the climax approaches.

Third, and stupidest of all (assuming their aim is to win customers, rather than alienate them), is the last ad-break. To this viewer at least, these appear to be timed to take place just before the conclusion and summing up of the episode plot is carried out by the lead character, which can often take only a few minutes to complete, but those few minutes are preceded by that intrusive pair of sponsor tags around the ad-break, and followed only minutes later by the rolling of the  programme credits and , yes, you guessed, yet another running of that damned sponsor tag at the end of the credits.

And they wonder where their audience share – the people that are forced to fund the adverts – is going?

Or why it is heading for alternative sources for the same programme material, where it can be had without being spoilt by incessant, intrusive ad-breaks?

There is a fourth sin they commit, particularly on ITV4, and which they just repeated today, providing a convenient reminder and example.

Although they start out by showing many past series from the 1960s onwards, which is fine and welcome, they then waste the experience by repeating them too soon, and then breaking up the episode order. I enjoyed seeing series such as Lovejoy first time they were shown, then they re-appeared, then they re-appeared again,  and then they appeared to be shown at random. Although I wasn’t watching these later repeats, I could see they were no longer being shown in any sort of regular slot, so if I had been trying to watch the series, I couldn’t.

The current example is The Prisoner. This just completed a complete re-run a few weeks ago, which was fine, and enjoyable as they chose to show one episode per week, followed (one of) the)episode sequences. This made it much like watching the series as it was intended to be, in weekly episodes, rather than ITV’s more usual format of daily episodes.

However, almost immediately on completing this weekly showing, ITV4 then started sort of daily episodes. This appeared to comprise of two episodes repeated during the week, but on different days. It then seemed to change to three episodes per week, then went back to two, or maybe not, perhaps it was more, or less. It was impossible to tell without consulting a schedule days ahead of the broadcast.

This week, I expected to see an episode appear today (Tuesday), but a check showed nothing. There’s nothing scheduled tomorrow either, nor is there anything shown up to next Tuesday – I couldn’t be bothered looking further. Anyone who may have decided to actually watch the series to completion has just been unceremoniously shown two fingers – and dumped, with no idea when, or even if they will see the rest. Maybe ITV4 will just spontaneously restart the repeats from episode 1, or just pick up from where it left of, or maybe it will never be seen again. Whatever, it’s no way to treat an audience, and no way to keep it happy, and coming back for more of the same abuse.

This example provides another indication that ITV is clueless, and not looking at it’s own output, or even bothering about it’s audience. Had I been watching this run of The Prisoner – and the actual series concerned is irrelevant, it’s how they treat their viewers that matters – then I’d now be left hanging in mid-series, unaware of whether I will see the latter episodes or not. And there’s no point in suggesting I go look at the schedule – I shouldn’t have to. I should be able to trust ITV to at least finish broadcasting a series they began, not throw the episodes all over the schedule on different days and at different time, and be able to watch without having to employ the services of a fortune teller.

ITV’s revenues might pick up when they stop treating their audience not like idiots, but as customers, and as valued and important as those clients they are chasing to hand them money for advertising space.

No viewers = no revenue.

No revenue = no new programmes and no jobs.

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Civilian | , | 2 Comments

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