Picks and Pans Review: The 30-Second Seduction: Television Advertising

updated 08/05/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/05/1985 01:00AM

HBO (Wednesday, July 31, 11:30 a.m. ET)

Consumer Reports has produced a show about commercials that's good—but not nearly as good as it should be. Here's a cable network and a magazine completely unsupported by advertising: You'd think that they could investigate advertising's methods and means without fear and with a fresh eye. HBO's publicity promises a "hard-hitting" report, but the show keeps its gloves on. The show does slap a few companies for dubious advertising claims. But it doesn't deliver on its promise to show how commercials seduce us. The producers could have done something fun like rating commercials for creativity or inanity or something enlightening like telling us how advertisers are changing their tactics for the Baby Boom and VCR generations. Instead the narrator says things like: "Over the last 35 years, commercials have become a constant part of our daily lives." And: "Let the viewer beware." Tell us something we didn't know.

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