The Feldwick Factor: Free online access to TV commercials

Paul Feldwick

I've noticed most TV commercials nowadays can be viewed free online. Is there any downside to this unrestricted availability?

Dr Robert Heath, The Value Creation Company

We take it for granted now that you can see just about any current TV commercial, and a huge proportion of old ones, whenever you want to. You may have seen something that amused you, a friend may have told you about it, you may have been given a link through Facebook or another site: online, you can see it on-demand as often as you like.

Yet the technology that makes this possible is only a few years old. YouTube launched in 2005: go back more than ten years, and video on the internet was virtually non-existent. It's not that long since the only way to see a television commercial was to wait for it to appear in a broadcast, unless you were obsessive enough to record it on cassette.