We’ve all seen them in their disgustingly obtrusive glory. Endless promotion with bells and whistles that cover a third of the screen, populate every television broadcast these days to tease the weekly not-too-be-missed blockbuster…or just what’s coming up next. Whatever they promote, they’ve gone way beyond a simple station or network logo that identifies what you are watching. They twist, they turn and they come up animated from the bottom of the screen. They’re everywhere. Ninety-nine percent of the time, we don’t think twice about them as they’ve become a part of our standard television viewing. Well, we now know that final 1% live in the UK where over 5,000 Doctor Who fans were angered during their favorite program this past week.
Last Saturday’s transmission of the second installment of Doctor Who starring Matt Smith was apparently ruined by an inappropriately placed on-screen pop-up ad. Evidently, just prior to the cliff-hanger ending where the Doctor was being pursued by the weeping angels, a lower-third screen ad appeared featuring a caricature of Graham Norton plugging the next show, Over the Rainbow. After receiving over 5,000 phone calls from fans registering their displeasure, The Beeb apologized for the mistake. Overall, believable or not, it was very civilized.
Sorry, but I can’t for the life of me think that this would happen if enough people called a U.S. network and complained, can you?