In the past couple months I've been reliving some of my younger days by watching episodes of Diff'rent Strokes in syndication. Because two of the main characters are young black men, these episodes air on Black Entertainment Television.
Tonight, I noticed a disturbing trend in the commercials. During one commercial break, three of the four commercials seemed to prey on those in our society some might consider less than intelligent, having poor credit, needing to take advantage of offers that would force them to pay much more than necessary for an almost ubiquitous piece of household technology, or those that are simply down on their luck and needing a little extra cash.
Am I wrong in sensing that a commercial for a payday loan company (many of which are renowned for charging outrageous interest rates), a company offering computers to people with bad credit, approval guaranteed and without a credit check, and an offer for "cash for gold", might be attempting to take advantage of the demographic towards which the station is skewed?
I'd like to be wrong in this. I really would. But I have to admit that I see this type of advertising more on this channel than anywhere else. I don't know what else to make of it. Is it a comment on our current economic situation? Is it simply that this station has less viewers, making advertising prices low enough so these less than reputable companies can afford to purchase spots? Or, am I correct in my gut feeling?
This is not the way I feel about this demographic. I feel that they have as much to offer as my demographic does. I just can't understand this theory of advertising.
Like I said, I want to be wrong. Please, let me be wrong.
5 years ago