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TV station guilty of subliminal advertising

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found Network Ten guilty of using subliminal advertising during the 2007 Aria Music Awards. Single-frame shots of sponsor logos were flashed during the broadcast in a technique thought to increase consumer brand awareness and action.

The network is only getting a slap on the hand. I think they should count themselves lucky - it is well known that subliminal advertising is illegal and trying this trick in the 21st Century is pretty stupid really.

Or is it? Not only do the sponsors get the initial round of advertising but their names are also rehashed every time the news story is quoted (except in this blog post where I'm purposely leaving them out). Maybe Network Ten is working on the premise that any publicity is good publicity.

As for whether this type of subliminal advertising actually works, that's open to debate. Wikipedia mentions several studies in which consumer choice is said to be affected by subliminal advertising. It does appear that in the right circumstances, subliminal advertising can have some effect on some people. However there isn't much evidence that it is any more effective than traditional advertising.

In the worst case, at least it gets your sponsors in the news.

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