I've always struggled with the ever-increasing epidemic of government-sponsored advertising telling us what to be afraid of. The latest climate change alarmist message telling us to "think of the children" is a case in point, along with, don't get me started, most road safety commercials.
It's not enough when then government introduce some new legislation to charge us more money, scare us into doing something/ not doing something or generally burden our lives with more cumbersome nannying. Not only do we have to put up with it, we have to agree with it.
The Centre for Independent Studies have produced some very relevant and pragmatic research on a whole range of topics. A recent CIS article has caught my attention. It deals mainly with the stimulus package and how the government have spruiked it's glorious effect on public infrastructure. However, it also contains some good points on government advertising in general, a subject which alone would warrant pages of (boring) research to make a very salient point. A point which is most probably lost on the majority of TV punters, and that's just how the government likes it.
These (infrastructure) ads do not convey information of direct and immediate relevance to ordinary people’s everyday lives. It is ‘feel good’ advertising and a subtle way of making voters feel more favourably disposed to the party in power.
In which case, why are we paying for these ads?
And so it goes with any fear-mongering advertisement to convince us that they are right to force us into something we don't want, whether it be staring at our speedometers, or turning off our airconditioners when it's 40 degrees.
The only thing we should fear is an even bigger government to do more of this. Article here. It's short and sweet.