Thursday, August 10, 2006

Can You Keep It Up For Four Hours?

It seems times were simpler in the black & white tv days. Not that the pre-color technology was any better, but "Leave It To Beaver" showed a more pleasant (if unrealistic) view of family life. On the other hand, documentaries were more graphic. Through it all, the NAB Code dictated what sort of ads you saw.

The National Association of Broadcasters put together an agreed-upon set of standards. There was never a law that you could not advertise hard liquor on tv; it just wasn't done. "Personal products," as they so discreetly put it, were also to be shunned. At the absolute most, they were to be kept within programming that the family would not see, and only hinted at. It was rare that you saw anything more explicit than soap.

Times have changed and The Beav has grown up. If his family were to be on tv now, they'd probably be a bit dysfunctional, his brother would have a live-in and June would be nipping from the cooking sherry every ten minutes.

The NAB Code is gone, if you haven't noticed, and liquor ads are the least indicator of that. It's not uncommon to see ads for Trojans, at least on some cable stations. Hey -- us guys knew what they were ever since Mother Nature tapped us on the shoulder and pointed downwards. Why advertise something we've known about ever since the older kids told us in the school cafeteria?

Back in the nicer days, you couldn't advertise Preparation H, even though everybody has a butt and sometimes it hurts. Now, we are earnestly talked to about Cialis and how it can get you from zero-to-sixty when needed, good for 36 hours -- which can certainly outlast any wifely headache. Oh ... and be sure to tell us about its best side effect: If the flag is still at full-mast after four hours, see your physician.

There was a time when you discreetly spoke to your druggist or physician; they, in turn, discreetly gave you the information you needed. You did not turn on the tv to see how absorbent this pad is, or what pill would cure your herpes. Drug stores handled health products and television handled entertainment. If you saw Trojans on tv, it was a PBS show about Greece.


Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

If the flag is still at full-mast after four hours, see your physician.

Ha.I wouldn't tell my physician, I'd tell everybody I know!

August 10, 2006 6:38 AM  
Anonymous ruthc said...

Ah, the difference between men and women.
When I read the title, the nature of "it" didn't even occur to me.

August 10, 2006 9:59 PM  

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