The Ad Council—Does it Add Up?

By: Brooks A. Mick

I note that many of the various “public service” advertisements on television and radio are sponsored by “’somebody’ and The Ad Council.” The Ad Council is involved in much of what we see and hear over the airwaves. Much of it seems more or less innocuous, even useful, and helpful on its face. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive in the Age of Obama, with various dirty tricks being run out of the White House and with the MSM’s near-unanimous left-wing slant on everything, but I detect some of this left-wing bias in the Ad Council’s pieces.

For example, though ostensibly nonpartisan and apolitical, the Ad Council produces global warming propaganda. Global warming is surely a political issue. It is surely a partisan issue. Most Republicans don’t buy the dogma, most Democrats do. The Ad Council treats global warming as a proven problem when it is just a theory based on demonstrably inaccurate computer models.

For another example, the recent piece focusing on the psychological problems of returning veterans. This exaggerates the problems—one set of stats I saw indicated that violent behavior is LESS common among returning vets than in an age-matched, sex-matched population sample. That is, being in the military and in combat reduces violent tendencies—or perhaps it is that those who volunteer to be soldiers are less violent to begin with! Either way, it makes little sense for the Ad Council to instill in the minds of the general populace that our returning veterans have a high prevalence of psychological problems.

Another example: The spot on hunger in America. The piece makes the point that hunger is a problem that “remains largely invisible” in America. Perhaps the reason that it is invisible is that it is essentially non-existent. Why plant the idea in people’s mind that America has a significant hunger problem? Clearly, America has a much bigger obesity problem than a hunger problem.

One could work one’s way through the list of campaigns, noting the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s Renew America propaganda campaign, pushing the idea of crisis, making it easier to push through agendas which more deliberate, thoughtful debate might find unwarranted. Noting the National Fair Housing Alliance’s campaign against predatory lending—predatory lending which generally boils down to expecting to be repaid! No mention, of course, that congress mandated that the lending institutions make unwise loans to people who then, as one could have expected, would have trouble making their mortgage payments.

A fair percentage of the Ad Council’s pieces turn out to be rather biased in favor of Democrats and left-wing ideas and organizations; or tend to subtly plant seeds of hostility toward traditional American institutions or corporations.

Whether this is deliberate on their part or just a result of the left-wing bias among many ivory-tower elitist types is hard to say. But it’s worth noting either way.

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