by Andy Mac
19th August 2019
I can’t recall just how many good adverts I’ve watched down the years that would fall foul of today’s mentally defective political correctness. In the 70s you had yokels singing the praises of Country Life butter, exhorting you ‘to tell the wife to get some in’. In the 80s we saw professional dancer and singer Jenny Logan, prancing around a living room with a bottle of Shake n’ Vac carpet freshener. We also had the Milk Tray man, who defied fire, plague and pestilence in order to leave a box of chocs and a card with a silhouette on it in some tart’s boudoir. More recently, Australian comedians Tom Oakley and Tony Toohey played ‘Brad and Dan’, two beach freaks taking calls from concerned Poms whilst they downed an almost infinite supply of Foster’s lager in their north Sydney beach hut.
The one thing about each of those examples is their impact. I guarantee anyone of my generation will vividly recall each of those adverts with some fondness. But what do you have today? Nearly every commercial that comes on the telly depicts some ageing duffer telling us how glad he was he took out life insurance, so that the family will be taken care of once he’s snuffed it. Great, there’s nothing like being constantly reminded that one day you’re gonna die to really lift the mood, eh! Furthermore, any commercials running counter to the metrosexual narrative of domestic role sharing are now instantly banned. Because in our society where commonplace FGM, suffocating Middle Eastern clothing and walking ten paces behind your husband barely raise Establishment eyebrows, we mustn’t commit the cardinal sin of having a few laughs at gender stereotyping on our flat screens.
In many cases, we live in a Britain where there is more sexual equality than ever before….and that is a great thing. However, we also live in a country where there is still overwhelming dominance of one gender or another in certain spheres or roles. Ring for a joiner, a plumber or an electrician, and I’ll willingly bet that 99.99999 times out of 100 it’ll be a bloke who turns up. Walk into a family home on a weekend and you’ll be far more likely to see the wife standing next to the ironing board whilst the husband pores over the football results. I’m not saying these facts are morally right or wrong, just the way things are and have been since time immemorial. If we can’t laugh or at least reflect on some of those indisputable facts of life through the medium of TV commercials, is there really any point to them? For one thing is certain: funny TV ads – whether ‘sexist’ or not – yield results for the products they promote. Political correctness will always be an instant turn-off for most of the population, irrespective of whether it is pushed down our throats on the TV, in schools or in the street. How naive of these advert police not to realise that.