Thursday, 15 March 2007

"Take another little bit of my cash now baby"


Is anyone else getting increasingly aware of TV channels trying to rinse us for every penny we have? If they're not bombarding me with adverts that tap into my subconscious and persuade me that I really do need that new Amazing Minty double action mouthwash which shows me the contents of my mouth in the sink afterwards, they're telling me to text this number! Vote now for your favourite celebrity freckle!

Answer this question to win £5000, what do you play with in the bath? Is it
a) a rubber DUCKY,
b) a smelly mucky, or

c)
a winky dinky?

And it's not answers on a postcard any more is it, 25p first class stamp and you're away...oh no...it's text or call this number, it'll cost you a quid and then add on your standard network charge plus another 50p for the homeless dogs in Battersea and then the company has received £100,000 of which you get sweet F.A... It's always bloody Sheila from Basildon isn't it?


Then you have the ultimate rip-off that sneaks up in the early hours of Saturday morning when you're pissed and just in from a club waiting for your pizza.

Take one fame-hungry irritating Big Brother / Silvia Young reject, dress her in anything that gives her an immense cleavage and tell her to make uninteresting, unwitty, awkward conversation with a camera for 4 hours. Make her take phone calls every half an hour from people who are too stupid to realise that 'Things you can find in a handbag' can cover anything from a wallet to Auntie Mavis's pet hamster, charge them £1.50 whether they get through or not and hey presto...we have a Quiz Call programme on ITV Play, raking in absolutely millions for its fat cat bosses. Thank god someone at the TV / phone watchdog places have seen the light and are finally cracking down on this appalling exploitation of the drunk and stupid.


The best example of text voting gone mad that I've been aware of most recently is the one at the end of Channel 4's Shipwrecked. Now, in the other examples I've talked about you can almost forgive the viewer for trying to get the carrot dangling on the stick in front of them, it's money up for grabs after all and someone has to win (unless you're ringing Richard and Judy, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Take Away, The X Factor, Soapstar Superstar or I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, in which case the winner has probably already been chosen...their phone-ins are all getting investigated for 'wrong doing').

Anyway.

Shipwrecked tells you, at the end of every programme, to vote weekly for your favourite boy and girl contestants for who you want to become


It's 25p, plus your standard message rate, so that you can 'help them win fifteen thousand pounds!'.

Woah, woah, woah. Waaaaait a minute.

Let me get this straight.

I pick one of these people, some of whom are self confessed socialites all fresh from their public schools and living off daddy's money in Sloane Square. I pay to text in. And THEY win £15,000. What exactly is in this for me? It must be the first competition that offers you absolutely nothing. It's like going into a sweet shop, asking for 35p worth of cola bottles and getting diddly squat, not even a paper bag for your trouble. Ooh but in return, the shop owner puts your 35p towards a lottery ticket which wins him lots of cash.

As for X Factor and all those shows you could argue, don't offer you anything in return either. I disagree, you get the satisfaction of seeing who you want to watch on TV. You pay for the privilege of deciding which god awful act you can send into obscurity next. In the case of Shipwrecked the program has already ended! They've all been back for the last few months, they've all been sent home already without your help. Finito. Done, dusted, but ooh, remember that program you were on? Yeah, here's £15,000 because the viewers thought you were pretty.

As you can tell, all this is really starting to grate on me. I hate the way every programme that you've already paid to watch via TV License then wants to be interactive and make you pay more. If the programme makers value my opinion that much they can have it for free here:

MONEY GRABBING FAT CATS SHOULD BE LOCKED UP IN A ROOM WITH VANESSA FELTZ AND FORCED TO WATCH THEIR OWN PROGRAMMES, the only exit is by texting LET ME OUT to 25551. Yeah...then we'll see whose laughing.





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