The leading UK
- Boots - are running a series of TV ads at the moment, which, it would be
fair to say, piss me off hugely. But then - so does quite a lot about the
of advertising. Make that the world in general.
These ads are all based on the same dishonest, devious, nasty little
verbal trick. They say things like:
"Because your eyes deserve the very best in
clarity, Boots frames are now 20% off"
deserve the very best suntan this summer, Boots are offering 3 for
2 on all sun tanning products."
So - the People At Boots sat down, and had a chat, did they......
Ron, what are we going to do about the state of the British Suntan?
Pete - it's an issue we're very concerned about. Our international basking
reputation is at stake. It's that bleak.
Well, we need answers Ron, and we need them now. What have you got?
Pete, there's only one thing for it. We must cut our prices. We must
sacrifice the profit margin and save the suntans.
Ron - that's a stroke of genius. You selfless, creative bastard - I'm
going to put it to the board on Wednesday. Now when are you and Penny
coming over for another evening of quiche and group sex?
No. That didn't happen. And not just because Penny isn't in to quiche.
These statements are simply non-sequitars - which is to say that they
imply a causal link between the first and second components of the sentence
Or - in layman's terms - they're a bunch of fucking
sly manipulative lies.
Boots is NOT offering 3 for 2 because they think you deserve the
best suntan - they're offering 3 for 2 in the hopes of twisting more cash
out of your pocket. Simple as that. N' est pas?
I wonder which advertising tosser first conceived of the ploy. I wonder
how the dialogue went then The Creatives met up to hatch this
little streak of Great British Piss. I wonder
if anyone, at any point, said out loud "Let's try to imply that we
public's best interests at heart, and we're offering these great deals
because we love their little cotton socks - each and every one. That way
they'll think well of us, buy our stuff - and we'll be wealthy in a seriously
nice new motor kind of way".
No - they probably wrapped it up in Creative-Speak. They probably have
a whole set of trendy euphemisms for talking about the devious filth they
pour into our living rooms without ever actually saying what they're
I wonder if anyone at Boots - when they reviewed the campaign proposal
- said "But wait guys - that's dishonest, isn't it?". I'm thinking
.... probably not. Because that would imply some sense of decency. Decency
to the point of overcoming self-interest. And that couldn't happen
No. Tends not to.
Now of course, the Great British Public have a mature society. We have
Checks And Balances in place to stop this kind of thing - don't we? Yeah
- we do. And they cost a fortune to run - and they don't work worth a flying
fuck. In this case it's Ofcom. Who exist to maintain the appearance of
giving a stuff about UK advertising, without actually doing very much
to make things better. Cheers boys. Way to hold down a decent
job of work. I'm sure your mum loves you - but as for me - I'd quite
like to see you all tipped out onto the tarmac and invited to do an honest
day's work. Digging holes maybe, and then jumping into them.
Thank you guys.
Thank you, Good Ole Boots.
Thank you Advertising Creatives.
You all help to make Great Britain