The enduring anachronisms of American TV selling

This article describes the U.S. system for selling TV time, and argues that the mounting pressures against this system may soon become irresistible.

The enduring anachronisms of American TV selling

Stephen White and Charles Dawson

Jim Croce's Ballad Time in a Bottle became a posthumous hit in America in 1974. In an eerie way the words also reveal the attitudes behind America's vast television advertising sales market, and how it sells its wares:

'If I could save time in a bottle The first thing that I'd like to do Is to save every day Till eternity Passes away'

In the US, time is traditionally 'bottled' for sale to advertisers like jars of dill pickles. Tradition...

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