Too many ads

Do you see ads? I mean, do they actually register with you?

I ask this after reading an article in my local paper, The Boston Globe.  It’s about Gen Y-ers, or Millennials, and though I’m way older than they are, I like the fact that I occasionally behave like them.  They ignore ads, says this article.  Having grown up in a sea of ads, they take them for granted, just don’t notice, tune them out.

The advertisement sea grows all the time.  It’s kind of like global warming, y’know?  Marketers are the melting ice cap, seeping into places they never used to be.  Like the supermarket checkout slip.  Mine emerges from the register covered with ads.

Well, that slip goes in the trash unread.

And that phone call from the cosmetic lady at Bloomingdales wanting to alert me to a weekend promotion, after assuring me she only wanted my phone number to let me know when my fave lipstick was back in stock?  Pfffff.  Big raspberry here.

The thing is, I don’t like merchants soliciting me.  I have no trouble finding the mall.  My car has been there so often it can practically do the drive on its own.  When I need something, I go shopping.  When I want something, I go shopping.

I don’t need ads to get my mind moving toward buy.  But there they are – online, on TV, in the mail and the newspaper, on my phone.

How do you deal?

Me, I opt out.  I mean that literally, when I’ve purchased something online and can un-check that little box allowing promotional email from that vendor.  But I also mean it figuratively.  Each night, we watch Brian Williams (new knee, Brian – way to go!), and I time my cooking to the placement of ads.  For instance, I know that there are no ads for the first 10 minutes, so, after taking the fish from the fridge to warm a little, I don’t move from the TV.  After that first news stretch, there’s practically one ad after each story.  During the first ad, I put on the rice.  During the second, I turn the gas to simmer and take out salad makings.  During the third, I chop tomatoes, cukes, radishes.  You get the point.

Then there are ads that I don’t get.  Techie ones sometimes move so fast selling something I don’t understand that I just stand in front of the TV enjoying the bright colors without having a clue what’s being sold.  But then there’s Cialis.  Why in the world are those two people holding hands from separate bathtubs if the point of Cialis is sex?

There are times when ads are so unwelcome that they have a negative impact on me.  When I’m forced to sit through one on the phone – say, when I’m put on hold calling the dentist to make an appointment and have to sit through an ad for invisible braces, before, quite conveniently, I’m put through to a receptionist – I’m so annoyed that hell will freeze over before I buy braces from that dentist.

I am susceptible to some ads.  When I’m reading the news online and see an ad for a new scarf at Nordstrom, I’ve been known to click through.  I’m a sucker for scarves, and have a long history with them at, which, of course, explains those ads on my home page.

Same with Zappos.

Are these targeted ads an invasion of my privacy?  In that I’m being tracked, I suppose they are.  But truly?  It’s my free choice whether to look at those ads or not, and besides, getting an ad that fits me is better than getting a dozen that do not.  I can’t tell you how often I stand at the recycle bin in my garage, dumping in printed brochures that have just been put in my mailbox.  Those brochures don’t even make it in my door.


How about you?  Do ads bug you?  Any in particular?


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  1. Donna on August 15, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Ads do bug me. It’s wasted paper! Like you if I want something I buy it and I don’t need prompting. We have two stores here that send ads about 4 times a week to everyone that has an address. That has to be costing a small fortune. Why not just lower the prices and quit spending so much on advertising .The ads never make it in the house because I stop at the recycle bin. I also don’t like all the ads for ambulance chasing lawyers that are on TV all day long. So annoying!

    Now none of this applies to your emails about your books. I enjoy every one of those…just saying.

  2. Angela Moore on August 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I hate these infomercials. I’ll be enjoying a program, and then, just when the show is getting good, Yep, you guessed it. However, for the longest time, the grocery store where I shop had coupons for my favorite restaurant on the back of the receipt, I didn’t mind that at all. I’m so sick of ads for No No, and Proactive. I’d endure unwanted facial hair and bad acne rather than endure these infomercials. I exaggerate, But I trust I’ve made my point.

  3. Donna vineyard on September 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Totota! I drive one and am ready to buy something else just because the frequency of and inanity of the commercials make me seethe. I also get very irritated when the same commercial is shown several times in the same hour. I watch one hour of TV four nights a week and that is all I can tolerate. Thank goodness for Netflix, British dramas, mystery series and comedies, and most of all fiction. Keep them coming, Barbara, please.

    I’ve wondered the same thing about the Cialis commercial.

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