Should You Advertise on Cable News? Uh-Uh.
CNN—Politically Neutral and on the Ropes
In this epoch of horrific news—ISIS, Ebola, global warming, dying immigrants and government snooping—all-news CNN should be in fat city. Instead, Chicken Noodle Network is axing 300. Superstar Wolf Blitzer, who looks like the gatekeeper at Count Dracula's castle, delivers the news in a halting, boring monotone. CNN does have a number of superb correspondents, alas seen all too seldom. Among them: Jim Bittermann, John King, Nic Robertson, Martin Savidge, Jim Sciutto and Ben Wedeman. And, of course, the mesmerizing Christiane Amanpour, whose staff has been decimated by the empty suits in the current round of firings.
Fox News—Conservatives' Garden of Eden
Network prime-time star Sean Hannity I find to be smug, cocky and more nasty than informative. After reading Killing Patton by Hannity's partner in grime, I am in the camp of those who believe co-author Bill O'Reilly comes off as a wacko sensation-seeking, conspiracy nut not to be trusted. In the early morning I used to jump between MSNBC, CNN and Fox. I now skip Fox & Friends, because the low sectional sofa plus short skirts and cleavage create a Playboy Channel substitute for angry old men. [See the image in the media player at upper right.] Fox News' greatest gaffe was scrapping the elegant, energetic Shepard Smith—the best news anchor in television—for shrewish Greta van Susteren in the 7:00p.m. - 8:00 p.m. slot.
Takeaways to Consider
- I have spent 50 years in direct marketing, a.k.a. accountable advertising. This means absolute fealty to making offers, making it easy to order and the precise measurement of return on investment (ROI) based on the lifetime value of a customer.
- Hard-wired into my DNA is the following rule: "If you do not ask for a reply—and cannot trace a response back to the original advertisement—you are flushing cash money down the toilet."
- Leave brand-building to clever agencies in the business of fleecing dumb clients.
- "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." —John Wanamaker (1838-1922)
- Praise the MUTE Button. On my TV screen is an endless parade of complainers about COPD, loose dentures, bowel blockage, vaginal pains and hopes of erections lasting more than 4 hours. Plus the sleazy ambulance chasers looking to cash in on death by Mesothelioma.
- MSNBC and Fox News are in the business of generating fear, fury and hate on the Left and on the Right.
- Cable News is the current incarnation of what Vice President Spiro T. Agnew called, "an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals," "hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history" and "nabobs of negativism."
- Rethink your strategy when your advertising message is surrounded by whining sickies and political screamers.
- Chances are folks with knots in their guts are not in the mood for love.
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