Room 101

THIS WEEK? Do you ever get the feel­ing that you’re just be­ing ad?

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

I’M old enough to re­mem­ber when “an­gry birds” meant the peo­ple you and your mates in the pub were ter­ri­fied of go­ing home to af­ter stay­ing out too late on the lash.

Now of course it means hours on the iPad des­per­ately try­ing to beat peo­ple you hardly know at a sort of aviary pitch and putt.

Half of those hours, though, are not even play­ing the game it­self. In­stead, you watch en­tirely un­wanted ad­verts just in or­der to get to the next level.

Com­pleted sec­tion two? Here, watch this shite about a game you’re never go­ing to buy. Sec­tor 14? Watch that shite again. And again.

It doesn’t make a dif­fer­ence if you’re one of the mind­less fools like me who oc­ca­sion­ally fork out for ex­tra lives or power-ups, ei­ther. There’s no let up. Still, the ad­verts come. They’re re­lent­less and they’re ev­ery­where and they’re get­ting louder and louder. I learned this week that in some parts of the coun­try, some­thing as in­nocu­ous as the plac­ing of a bus stop is down more to how much ad­ver­tis­ing it can sell than it is as a pub­lic fa­cil­ity.

There’s one bus stop on my home manor where no buses IF the “high speed” rail link ever gets built – funded by ALL UK tax­pay­ers – it’ll shave a mirac­u­lous 15 min­utes or so off the jour­ney be­tween Birm­ing­ham and Lon­don.

Can’t imag­ine the Ja­panese bul­let train oper­a­tors feel­ing too threat­ened by that, can you?

Now us serfs liv­ing in the grim north learn that, if we were to ex­tend the ser­vice to Liverpool, the only way to pay for it would be to put up lo­cal taxes and hike up the Mersey ac­tu­ally stop at all – but the shel­ter is kept there any­way be­cause it’s on a de­cent route for catch­ing the eye of driv­ers.

In fact, it turns out al­most all of the bus stops aren’t owned by the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal trans­port au­thor­ity, as you Tun­nel tolls.

As ever, when it comes to north and south, the south gets it all on a plate while the north has it dan­gled over them like a car­rot – and al­ways comes with an ex­tra price ticket at­tached. might ex­pect. Oh no – they’re all owned and built by bloody ad­ver­tis­ing firms.

As a news­pa­per man I’ve of­ten been re­minded by mates in the sales depart­ment that ad­ver­tis­ing helps to pay mine and my col­leagues’ wages, which is quite true. But there is a huge dif­fer­ence to that and this 24-hour bar­rage of scream­ing crap.

Tra­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing doesn’t slam your news­pa­per shut and in­sist you watch a 90-se­cond film about ex­cit­ing new bank ac­counts be­fore you can con­tinue the cross­word.

And it doesn’t take over Corona­tion Street (yet) and force you to en­dure a roller­skat­ing fem­i­nine hygiene prod­uct com­mer­cial – which rather proves this “smart” ad­ver­tis­ing has quite some way to go…

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