Quotation by Geoffrey Gorer

Because of the enormous size of the public, television advertisers face problems of a different nature to advertisers in the press or even on posters. The readers of even the most widely circulated newspapers represent only a relatively small section of the population, and quite a number of facts have been accumulated about the interests, prejudices and habits of the readers of different papers; posters are placed in definite localities and the population of that locality, in contrast to other localities in that area, and of the different regions of England can, if necessary, be estimated. But with television, all these sensational calculations disappear; the advertiser is reaching practically the whole population within range of the transmitter. He may well ignore the poorest people, because they are not likely to have a set, and the richest and best educated because (as Dorothy Sayers shrewdly pointed out) they "buy what they want when they want it" and are not likely to be influenced by mass advertisements; but between those two extremes he has to try to please and portray Everyman and Everywoman and, above all, must try to offend none of them.
Geoffrey Gorer (b. 1904), British author, anthropologist. "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall," The Danger of Equality and Other Essays, Weybright and Talley (1966).
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