Monday, 27 April 2009

Nannying: Still annoying, still not working

Lindsay Mitchell has some impressive statistics here and here suggesting the effect of the government’s nannying campaigns to get you to “behave” are having about as much effect as your mother’s exhortations to “be careful” used to.

  • A study published in the NZ medical journal says sales of cigarettes are rising, even with (some might say despite) constant hectoring from the nannies.
  • In the face of nightly horror-show car-crash advertising and the like, the percentage of fatal crashes with alcohol/drugs as a factor has shown no measurable change over the ten years to 2007.
  • In fact, the percentage of drivers driving over the legal limit appears to be increasing.
  • And while figures indicate that that lots of people “remember” the “It’s not Okay” hectoring (the figures do not record with what level of affection), there are no figures conclusively showing that people have stopped hitting each other because of it all.

Which causes Lindsay to wonder

    if all these hugely expensive tax-payer funded media campaigns are just glorified make-work schemes. I also wonder if they don't sometimes provoke an emotional backlash.
    One thing is clear - getting the message is not the same thing as acting it on.

And is it just me, or didn’t the National Party promise before the last election that they were going to shut down the cavalcade of nannying that fills the TV screens, and the coffers of compliant advertising agencies?  Notice any diminution in the avalanche?

As Susan the Libertarian says, “It’s not the Advertising, It’s how we’re Advertising”:


  1. I hate all ads and the remote allows me to silence them or to jump to a sports channel or something which hopefully doesn't have ads (should the Commerce Commission be investigating the obvious collusion between channels which means they have ads at the same time?). But the ads I truly hate are the taxpayer funded ones which are an insult to New Zealanders. I turn the TV off when they come on.

  2. Do yourselves a favour and stop paying for and watching the crap and the crap it sandwiches. You got the internet now. Lay off TV for a week or two and see how much better you will feel.


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