But networks (and now apparently sponsors themselves) don’t seem to mind that competing products can be shown back to back.
In Don Draper’s day that would never happen. Nor in Darrin Stephens’ day (oh wait, they’re the same day). Really as late as the late ‘70s.
Once upon a time you would never see a Ford commercial butted up against a Chevy spot. If that happened via a screw up, neither would pay for their commercial. Products had it in their contracts that there had to be a time separation between them and any competitors.
And these provisions advertisers took very seriously.
There were TV’s, radios, and VCR’s. The person on duty would tape all three networks every night, list the commercials and log in when they aired. He’d then cut out the programming part and just keep the commercials. Sort of the opposite of what everyone else in the world does. He would also monitor local radio and TV newscasts looking for stories that featured corporate mentions.
He would flag any violations or technical problems that prevented a commercial from airing in its entirety.
If you liked watching TV it was a great job – although it’s like watching porn and only viewing the parts where the people were dressed.
It was also a lonely job. Ideal for serial killers and people who don’t bathe.
But advertisers went to the time and expense to have watchdogs in those days. And now? It’s like no one gives a shit. As long as any advertiser comes along with money, networks will air it. They’ll jam as many spots into a commercial break as they’re legally allowed with total disregard to any conflicts. There are gambling ads on sporting events. I’m surprised there are no beer ads on kids’ shows (although I’m sure that’s coming).
This is reaching absurd levels. I knew we were in the bizarro world when a certain movie advertised on Dodger television and the great Vin Scully had to say in his majestic voice, “Dodger baseball is brought to you tonight by DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS.”
If there was a movie called BREAKFAST FOR DOUCHEBAGS I’m sure they would have sponsored the following inning.