Friday, November 9, 2007

And now a word from our sponsor...

I've been thinking a lot about the writers strike. Worried not so much about the inconvenience of missing my favorite programs, but what it might mean for my future as a writer. And for the futures of all those walking the picket line. It's a tough time--and times are only gonna get tougher. It would be nice if it could end quickly and easily--but given that the soul-sucking, money-grubbing AMPTP isn't going to suddenly going to grow up and play fair, it looks like the writers might be on the picket line for quite a while.

Of course, while they're out there chanting, "Show me the money!" (from Jerry Maguire, written by Cameron Crowe), I'm thinking that the real solution (ala All the Presidents Men, screenplay by William Goldman) is to "Follow the money." The writers want more money from the studios. The studios get their money from advertising revenue. So rather than trying to do a trickle down effect which will take months and months to affect the studios' bottom line--why not shut the revenue off at the source?

I'm thinking that consumers can have a greater effect if they stop buying advertisers' products. After all, boycotts have worked to get networks to pull shows OFF the air when consumer threats led advertisers to pull sponsorship. Why not the other way around? What if millions of Earl watchers or Office fanatics or even those still sucked into the melodrama of Grey's Anatomy stopped buying an advertiser's product and wrote to the company telling them that they would not be purchasing said product until the company used their leverage (i.e.; advertising dollars) to convince the AMPTP (Viacom, Universal, Sony, Disney, etc.) to concede to the WGA's modest demands?

My choice for a prime target is Pepsi-Cola. Why? It's the 14th biggest advertiser spending almost $700 MILLION each year--just on TV and internet advertising alone. That's a nice chunk of change. Plus it's mainly a soft drink company, so it would be easy to identify and stop purchasing their products. Now come on y'all--wouldn't you drink tap water for a month if it meant getting the strike settled earlier?

In addition to Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Diet Pepsi Max, Jazz by Diet Pepsi and Pepsi One, Caffeine Free, Pepsi Lime, Pepsi Wild Cherry and Diet Pepsi Vanilla (whew--talk about spinoffs!), Pepsi-Cola products include:

Aquafina water
Dole juices (and other Dole products?)
Lipton Brisk/Teas
Mountain Dew (including Diet Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew Code Red, AMP Energy by Mountain Dew and MDX by Mountain Dew. Whew--more spinoffs!)
Mug Root Beer
Propel Water
Sierra Mist
Starbucks Coffee drinks (OK, that one's gonna hurt! But it's the Starbucks drinks sold in grocery stores, not in the coffee shops...)
Frito-Lay snacks
Quaker Food

Hmmm--maybe Pepsi isn't all that easy. Still, it shouldn't be that hard to give up some soda and snack foods (and oatmeal!). After all, the next season of Lost and 24 are at stake here people! Now, it's not like dozens and dozens of people read my blog everyday (OK, dozens and dozens do, but we need more than DOZENS), so if we want this to work we'd need everyone to tell all their TV and movie loving friends about it to build up critical mass. If you're interested in putting the pressure on the AMPTP to stop being a bunch of greedy bastards--hit 'em where it really hurts. Their advertising revenues.

That's my big idea anyway. If you think it might be a good one, you can contact Pepsi via this e-mail form to let them know that if they want you to spend your dollars on their products, they need to stop giving their dollars to the media outlets under the AMPTP. Until the strike is settled.

I think it's worth a shot--unless someone out there has a better plan...

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