Media Ink

Booby trap

Joe Mandese

Americans often refer to television as the boob tube. The reference has nothing to do with the exposure of Janet Jackson's 'boob' live on national television during the Super Bowl halftime show. As big a deal as that was here and believe it or not, it was the term has more to do with another definition for the US slang word, which also means 'a little bit nutty'.

If the recent behaviour of Madison Avenue is any indication, it is an apt definition indeed.

US ad agencies have always been consumed by television and nothing has seemed able to dislodge it from its exalted role as the 'base buy' of any good advertising campaign. Nothing not rampant fragmentation, not a rapid ascent of media buying costs, not even the suggestion that its advertising effectiveness may be waning has managed to deter Americans from planning media around television.