Episode 9 Advertisers as Censors

According to author C. Edwin Baker, “Advertisers, not governments, are the primary censors of media content… today.” Terry O’Reilly respectfully disagrees – and this week he’ll explain why. He’ll review the long relationship between sponsorship and censorship – from early Radio, to Hitchcock’s Psycho, through the more recent woes of radio jock Don Imus. Do advertisers really decide what you should see, hear, or think? And if they don’t – who does?

We’ll review the decision of Lowe’s Home Building Centres to pull their sponsorship of “Big Brother 9” after a remark about “retards” by one of the contestants. We’ll talk about Ed Sullivan refusing to televise Elvis’s hips, his curbing of the Stones’ lyrics for “Let’s Spend the Night Together”, and his attempt to soften the Doors’ “Light My Fire”.


Episode 8 Royal Jelly

In the Age of Persuasion, as in all things, some are more equal than others. This week, Terry O’Reilly looks at a handful of gifted individuals- and singular ad agencies- who have done more than change advertising- they’ve changed popular culture. They are the savants, the gifted, the elect- those with ‘royal jelly’. And they cause a $600 billion industry to un-learn everything it had learned about the craft of persuasion.

Episode 7 The Trouble with Big

In our grandparent’s time, “big” was a good thing. “Biggest” was what every brand wanted to be when it grew up; the biggest corporations were benevolent captains of industry. Today, “big” is a curse. The biggest brands become the targets of critical books and documentaries, anti-globalization protests and YouTube ridicule. This week, Terry O’Reilly examines the growing hostility directed at the world’s top brands, and how some are finding ingenious ways to be both big and lovable.

Reviving the Brand

Broadcast Date: March 8, 2008 (Originally aired April 14, 2007)

This week Terry O’Reilly explores ways marketers breathe new life into dying brands. He’ll show you how brands such as Special ‘K’ have hiked sales- not by changing their product, but by changing the ‘idea’ of their product. Then he’ll show you how Hollywood celebrities have used the same principle to re-invent- and resurrect- their careers.

Episode 6 23 things I’d Like to Change About Advertising

This week, on The Age of Persuasion, Terry O’Reilly shares 23- ‘count ‘em- things he’s like to change about advertising. Maybe his new shoes are too tight. Or he needs a little more fibre in his diet. Perhaps a switch to decaf would do the trick. Whatever the reason, Terry shares a few long-harboured gripes about advertising, from telemarketers, to purveyors of junk mail, to hard-sell screamers, to anyone who’s ever inflicted a customer with the recorded words: “your call is important to us”.