TV wars that stupefy

By Stephen Rhodes

Obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate. To confuse, bewilder, or stupefy.

That’s sage counsel from a political buddy of mine on how to present an issue you really don’t want anyone to understand. Sound incredulous and sympathize over someone’s bewilderment. Watch for the head nods. It’s golden.

That’s how I feel watching two communication superpowers pitch their relative position on who should pay for local TV. We all know the who is us, regardless of who wins this debate before The Canadian Radio and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC).

TV providers like Rogers and Bell say broadcasters like CBC and CTV want to tax viewers ($10 a month)  to pay for local television while broadcasters say this is not a tax but  a threat by the other side to rip off customers for something that is included in their monthly fee.

TV Broadcasters say they provide the majority of Canadian content and local programming and the distribution group has had a free signal for too long and should pay. The other side says broadcasters sell advertising, spend huge amounts of money on American programming and should suck it up now that advertising dollars are in a freefall.

Here’s the crazy part. These people are in the communications business.  The TV commercials for both sides are smarmy; the actors barely able to hide their contrived responses. “Oh jeez you mean I am getting screwed here.” That part they have right.

Both sides have a hidden agenda. Rates are going up for sure. The best spinmeister avoids the blame. That’s the end game. Cynical? You bet.

Marketing today is about building trust. These guys give trust a bad name.

What do you think?

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1 Comment

Filed under Communications, Stephen Rhodes

One response to “TV wars that stupefy

  1. At least their attempts to confuse are clumsy and obvious, so there is no risk of confusing their snake oil with a cure for baldness. This has been said this in other contexts as well, but I think we would all be better off if Big Media would treat the news as though it’s audience were adults.

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