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Subject:advertisements From:Tom Little <LITTLE_TOM_H -at- OFVAX -dot- LANL -dot- GOV> Date:Mon, 23 Jan 1995 13:55:00 MDT
I know this has been just about beaten to death, but I can't help making a
There seems to be a prevalent attitude that money changing hands is EVIL, in and
of itself. Corporations and advertisers are frequent targets of suspicion and
abuse. Sometimes they deserve it, often they don't.
A fundamental concept of economics is that in a free exchange, BOTH parties
(buyer and seller) benefit. When someone sells something (unless there is fraud
involved), the buyer is pursuing his/her self-interest just as much as the
seller is. Advertisements bring buyer and seller together, and benefit them
If you put an ad on a list (or in a paper magazine) and get no response, you've
wasted time and money. If you do get a response, it means that a number of
readers have benefited from the ad, and would have been deprived if it were not
there. Of course, we all know what it's like to wade through ads that we DON'T
care to see; but that's the price we pay for the ones that are valuable to us.
I subscribe to magazines for the various hobbies I have. I love the ads,
sometimes more than the articles.
So my final thought is this: Don't automatically assume that offering goods or
services in exchange for money is some terrible corrupting evil that must be
stomped out. (Don't we all accept money for our labor?) Instead, relax and treat
it like any other message that comes your way: if it interests you, follow up;
if it doesn't, remember that it may be helpful to others who have different
interests. Free speech (and it extends to advertisers!) is unlikely to destroy
the world; censorship is a greater danger.
Tom Tadfor Little | "They called me
Technical Writer/Editor | 'the quiet one' because
Los Alamos National Laboratory | I just didn't have anything
little_tom_h -at- ofvax -dot- lanl -dot- gov | to say" -- George Harrison, 1987.