The mass audience is dead? Then the mass advertising audience is dead. Boo hoo. Perhaps this will mean fewer fat, sick, indoctrinated children, junked out on chemical foods and synthetic pastimes - as highlighted by this week's belated call for certain food poisons to be banned.
The only problem is that, according to this week's Ofsted Report, because it has spent its time being a socially responsible broadcaster, the BBC will now have to pay for the excesses, follies and anti-social opportunism of the commercial sector. In the same way, the taxpayer is now having to pay for the equivalent follies of the banks. When they make obscene profits from very dodgy investments, they get to keep the money and gloat about the universal benificence of the spriti of the free market. When the short-term greed of the market turns to disaster, the taxpayer pays.
The Licence to Print Money from TV commercials has finally expired, as it was always going to as technology gave more pesky power to consumers. Making them less and less like sheep. It transpires that as a basis for broadcasting, advertising was only ever a passing phase - at least in a responsible culture like Britain, which saw the limitations of the industrial marketplace from an early stage - having invented it. But why should the licence payer now pick up the pieces and buy Mr Grade's cigars and Rolls Royces? Why does the state owe the media billionaires a living for peddling their monumentally narcotic trash? Where is that written? Why does the taxpayer always have to pay for the business errors (the greed) of a marketplace which cannot see beyond its annual shareholders meeting?
Commercial TV and the advertising industry were warned almost a decade ago that the narrative TV ad was under serious threat from advancing technology - even the humble remote control eliminated commercials which cost as much as running and A&E department in an inner city borough for a week. Alan McCulloch of Saatchi's in 1999, urging the industry to adapt in order to survive: “TV advertising has to become more interactive. The agencies are failing to create new forms. Their heads are still stuck up their arses doing TV ads.” As were the heads of the TV companies.