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back to article Movie, TV ads annoying? You ain't seen nothin' yet

Digital-content producers, distributors, broadcasters, and advertising firms are developing new strategies about how to monetize movies and TV shows in a world in which consumers want their content for free, skip past ads on their DVRs, and despite high-profile efforts to stop them, still find piracy an attractive option. "There …

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I don't dislike this. I'm one of the handful of people who actually LIKEs ads. I don't like the disruption they cause though. Product placement could be the happy medium that allows commercial-free, gratis content, without resorting to taxation to pay for it.... as long as it doesn't get too creepy and weird. Some of the speculation in this article is treading on thin ice in that regard.

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Product placement can however get a little over the top from time to time.

Have you ever noticed the way in which they always focus on the phones and tablets in Hawaii-Five-0 when the characters use them? (you can clearly see that Windows or Windows Phone of some sort is in use the whole time).

One example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfHuZ5qrYX4&feature=youtu.be

And don't get me started about NCIS and NCIS:LA. There's one where you have the director supposedly - and rather laughably - using SkyDrive to store what the he says are 'sensitive files'. There's another where Abbey conveniently got a tax refund and spends it on getting ipods for everybody (that they all just happen to be using at the start of the episode). The less said about an episode of CSI:NY where a Macbook is taken as evidence and conveniently shown off from every possible angle the better...

Oh, and where taxation is concerned who do you think pay for the ads? The corporations. How can they afford to do this? By charging their customers more. Who are their customers? Us.

We all end up paying one way or another. Hasn't it crossed some people's minds that perhaps this is one of the least efficient ways of funding a program and introduces more middlemen that suck away the funding?

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IOW we end up paying for the privilege of being force fed advertising *during* programs paid for with our money that we have often already paid somebody else to watch in the first place (glances in Sky's direction).

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One last thought: but if programs are going to be ruined by placements then what motivation will there be to actually go out and pay for the DVD/bluray boxsets? I can get adverts for free if I was that desperate to have them thanks, and I'm certainly not willing to pay what can sometimes end up being large amounts of money just so that some advertiser can reach me a little more easily.

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Anonymous Coward

@vimes

While I agree that the price of the advertised product will rise to pay for the advertising, there is nothing to force the viewer to buy that product instead of a cheaper product that has been less advertised.

In that case, it is other people who pay for the advertising. I count that as a win.

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How advertising is paid for.

You sai it., pal. If you think the TV licence is unfair, it is as nothing compared to commercial, ad funded TV. We ALL pay for this, EVEN IF WE DONT HAVE A TV!

If I recall correctly, the UK TV advertising revenue for a year, divided by the number of households is about £165 per household. Irrespective of TV ownership

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Because by inserting the ads at runtime - they can then make the DVDs ad freeso you are more likely to buy them

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Devil

You kind of have it backwards...

Based on the image in the article, it seems that the real problem is not new material but old stuff. Now not only will old shows be mangled to allow for more commercials, they will be themselves altered to allow for product placement. You may see brands in the Huxtable brownstone that aren't available anywhere near Brooklyn.

That there seems to be a good reason to avoid video streaming entirely.

Buy pristine copies of stuff when you can, skip everything else.

Next thing you know there will be product placements for TESLA in Downton Abbey.

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Pirate

They'll fix that, no problem

I am pretty sure you'll be able to buy different verions of movies etc were you get to pay a premium price to get the version not soiled by ads.

At least this looks like an excuse for Mr Lucas to remaster and re-re-release the Star Wars saga at least a couple more times...

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Re: They'll fix that, no problem

Did you miss the update? Lucas sold the rights to the Star Wars franchise to Disney. I presume if he tries to make another one, he'll get sued by Goofy.

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Meh

@mutatedwombat - Re: @vimes

Wrote :- "there is nothing to force the viewer to buy that product instead of a cheaper product that has been less advertised"

I tend to do exactly that. Like I recently bought a Black & Decker pressure spray rather than a Karcher because I know that a big part of the Karcher's cost is for its heavy advertising rather than its quality.

However :-

1) it is a bit unavoidable, as most brands advertise, albeit B&D less than Karcher in this case.

2) the less advertised brands will also raise their price, having seen that their rivals' advertising has raised the cost expectations of the general public.

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WTF?

you honestly believe they'll leave DVDs & BluRays alone!!!

poppycock...

this technology gives them the means to stuff DVDs full of region specific ads and recyle the ads every year as they re-release it in slightly different packages...

They ain't gonna let this opportunity slip past...

we already suffer "unskippable" trailers and other rubbish in DVDs...

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Re: you honestly believe they'll leave DVDs & BluRays alone!!!

It isn't going to matter much for anyone wearing Google's glasses. It's only a matter of time before they overlay ads onto your own front door. No need to watch anything, they'll serve it up before your eyes anyway. Why do you think Google is developing self driving cars? The windscreen is a great place to toss ads when you don't need to watch where you're going.

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Pint

Re: You kind of have it backwards...

Based on the image in the article, it seems that the real problem is not new material but old stuff. Now not only will old shows be mangled to allow for more commercials, they will be themselves altered to allow for product placement. You may see brands in the Huxtable brownstone that aren't available anywhere near Brooklyn"

That reminds me of a character in Arthur C. Clarke's 1990 novel "Ghost from the Grand Banks" who's job was removing the cigarettes and attendant smoke from old films, eg Casablanca, ie "sanitising" them for a modern audience who would be shocked by seeing people smoking.

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Unhappy

Re: They'll fix that, no problem

"I am pretty sure you'll be able to buy different verions of movies etc were you get to pay a premium price to get the version not soiled by ads."

What makes you think that? I don't see many websites offering any form of "premium" access without ads or being forced to choose between no access or giving up your details to be sold on or to spam you rather than pay a small amount for clean, secure, ad-free access.

No, this is simply yet another way to increase revenue. You are the product, not the customer. The customer is the advertiser. You are are sold to the advertiser by the content producer.

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Re: They'll fix that, no problem

...or they could make sure that future disc standards - assuming there are any - include the requirement to always have an internet connection available when viewing the content. That way the advertising could be continually updated.

Of course this doesn't sound like a good idea, but then neither does forcing online play in games when it's apparently not required (*cough*SimCity*cough*).

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WTF?

Re: They'll fix that, no problem

Product placement in _Star Wars_? Bottles of Jack Daniels and Yagermeister in the cantina scene? I plead poverty of the imagination, I'm not sure how this would work.

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Re: They'll fix that, no problem

Product placement in _Star Wars_? Bottles of Jack Daniels and Yagermeister in the cantina scene? I plead poverty of the imagination, I'm not sure how this would work.

...For some reason I can't shake the image of a scene from the Family Guy spoof of Star Wars, with one of the star destroyers passing by to reveal a large 'Bush/Cheney' bumper sticker. A quick search on Google reveals this:

http://www.crisdias.com/wp-content/images/2007/09/family_guy_blue_harvest_star_destroyer.jpg

There will always be exceptions, and Star Wars may well end up being one, but that won't stop this from being used elsewhere when it does make sense.

Of course some creative editing might not be so bad if done properly. I'd be more than prepared to accept the adverts in Star Wars for example if they found a way of permanently erasing Jar jar binks from the films as part of this process...

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Facepalm

Bill Hicks on Marketing ..

Bill Hicks on Marketing

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Re: @mutatedwombat - @vimes

Easily avoided mate - don't pay full price for anything. Ever.

Wait for the end-of-season, then strike. We all need to be paying less for everything. Nothing is worth what its shelf ticket claims. And advertising has nothing to do with quality of product either. Do your research, run a wide-ranging price comparison, choose your purchase price limit, and wait until the next relevant sale.

I'm astonished that people still pay full price for absolutely anything - in some cases even chasing credit to pay for lightspeed depreciation and obsolescence. Crazy.

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NCIS:LA

On the end credits you'll see 'Sponsored in part by Microsoft Corporation'.

This is actually precisely what Microsoft do not want. Unfortunately the product placement is so over the top, they're obliged to say it out loud.

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> I don't dislike this. I'm one of the handful of people who actually LIKEs ads. I don't like the disruption they cause though.

OK, maybe they should show them only in places where nobody can see them. Kind of like they want to do with political demonstrations!

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Re: You kind of have it backwards...

Already happening for real - I recall from somewhere (possibly QI) that there are modern versions of the Abbey Road sleeve art where Paul no longer has a cigarrette in his hand

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Re: How advertising is paid for.

I'm not siding with the big, bad admen here, but it's not clear whether things cost more or less as a result of advertising.

Proponents of advertising would claim that it creates more efficient markets and allows economies of scale. The problem is that it's hard to find comparable markets with no advertising. The Communist economies of the 20th century come close, but they suffered from so many other structural defects.

What's almost certain is that it's nearly impossible for a producer to expand beyond a small local market without advertsing. And you don't have to be Adam Smith to recognise that if you buy, say breakfast cereal, from a two-man concern that just supplies your village, you're going to pay a lot more for it. And you're going to have to do without a lot of other products that can't be manufactured at all on a small scale.

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Re: How advertising is paid for. @Kubla Cant

What's almost certain is that it's nearly impossible for a producer to expand beyond a small local market without advertsing

Except that CBS, ABC, Fox and others are hardly small local businesses, nor are they the only mediums through which advertising can be used.

In many cases most things would be acceptable in moderation. Personally I can accept that advertising is one of these things. The problem I have is that the industry as a whole seem to have lost any concept of moderation (don't believe me? just look at this website). If this wasn't the case then there would not be any demand for things like AdBlock or DVRs that can skip ad breaks.

Having the advertising industry trying to castrate DNT by classifying 3rd party cookies as 1st party cookies so they can continue as if nothing has changed is a good demonstration of how divorced they are from the reality that their clients/audience/marks [delete as appropriate] are forced to live in. Ads inserted into video are just as bad IMO.

If the advertising industry could just accept - amongst other things - that 'no means no' then they might find that they have less of an issue of people skipping ads or following similar courses of action to try and block said advertising.

(incidentally I hope nobody here is expecting the ICO to help protect them - https://nodpi.org/2013/03/25/the-ico-are-google/)

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Not to mention, they get to write off the advertising as an expense, so they really don't pay much at all - we do.

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Devil

Advertisiers are like.....

10,000 and one people trying to stick their finger up your arse when you try to take a shit.

There are only X food products that I usually buy, Y clothing that I wear, and Z consumables I need to run my life...

So if IDIOT from the advertising Co, can justify to me, why the adds they place everywhere, outnumber the average persons needs by about 200,000 to 1.....

Like my good friend Bob Earl said, "I have to write a script that contains a murder, for the suspense, so people stay tuned to the TV during the add break, just so some fucking arseholes can sell some fucking douche."

So the average person sees something like 20,000 murders on TV, by the time they hit 18....

Fuck the advertisers.

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FAIL

A marketing eye exam.

Extremely distracting! If that flashing blue outline is actually part of this approach, then you will have to dvr everything just to go back and watch what you should of been watching...but missed.

From bad to worse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A marketing eye exam.

I'm quite sure the flashing blue outline is not part of this approach. They are simply using it to point out to their intended audience (studio executives, presumably) where they have inserted their example advertising.

Actual use will be more subliminal (except in the case of Microsoft, of course).

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Re: A marketing eye exam.

Odd that M$ keeps getting targeted as a culprit here, cos it seems to me the good guys ALWAYS have mac gear.

I guess i need to pay more attention to the product placement and less to the narrative (where there is a narrative)

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Re: A marketing eye exam. @Naughtyhorse

Perhaps because Microsoft make sure that their product placements are amongst the most cringe-worthy that I personally have ever seen? ('cringe-worthy' incidentally being a term that seems to be used time and time again when I was searching for examples - which just goes to show how poorly Microsoft's efforts are viewed by others)

More examples:

http://www.thatvideosite.com/v/6766/the-most-cringe-worthy-microsoft-product-placement-youll-ever-see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyRZ03SFB68

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyaHar9F8QY&feature=player_embedded#!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=talcGAOj9YQ&feature=player_embedded ('I binged it' - seriously?)

Personally I would have thought that less obvious efforts would be more effective - the moment people know that they are watching an advert is the moment it loses much of it's usefulness.

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No Thanks

If this gets too obvious I'll just stop watching anything.

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Re: No Thanks

If this gets too obvious I'll just stop watching anything.

I was thinking the same thing. I shall just read more books instead. Then I had a horrible thought about what would happen to books if we all stopped watching TV.

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Unhappy

Re: No Thanks

Just wondering which kind of product placement they'll add to movies/series like Star Wars, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Avatar?

Mmmm, middle-earth Pepsi, my preccioussssss

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Re: No Thanks

"Then I had a horrible thought about what would happen to books if we all stopped watching TV."

There's a trilogy by Mira Grant called The NewsFlesh Trilogy. I've read the first, Feed. I sort of enjoyed it, but I won't progress to the second and third books because everywhere any kind of technology was mentioned in the first, it's Apple-this and Apple-that. This is nothing to do with my general dislike of all-things Apple, and simply because it actually *felt* like excessive brand placement IN A BOOK.

(Brand rather than product because most of the actual Apple-things mentioned do not exist.)

In most, if not all cases, wherever Apple [product name] was mentioned, [product name] would have done just fine.

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Unhappy

Re: No Thanks

Then I had a horrible thought about what would happen to books if we all stopped watching TV."

I have a few American printed/published paperback books which I've picked up from second hand book shops over the years which have advert pages in them. I've no idea how prevalent that is (or was, these are 30-40 year old SF books) but it's not a new idea. I'd be more worried about the content of e-books, especially when we start seeing books published exclusively in e-book format.

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Meh

Audience or client?

"...advertising more compelling and deliver more value to the audience,"...

I suspect the last word is supposed to be 'client'.

While there have been genuinely entertaining ads in the past, they are few and far between. The industry has a long way to go before I'll subject myself to having to watch imbedded ads as well as the ones every 10 minutes on commercial TV.

Oz readers only: Bring back Gruen Planet! The most entertaining part of advertising on TV.

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@Magani - Re: Audience or client?

Wrote :- "While there have been genuinely entertaining ads in the past, they are few and far between"

Agreed. But it is incredible how much and how long the same ones are repeated, until I am so sick of them that I vow never to buy that particular brand of krap ever again. Some of the same adverts go on for years. Does it really cost that much (compared with the air-time) to make new ones?

I am thinking in particular of that fat opera singer advertising insurance or something, and those two 1970's retro fairies advertising 118, whatever that is. I don't know what they are about as I turn the sound off and continue reading a book during the adverts - suprised at how much I read that way.

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Pint

Re: @Magani - Audience or client?

@ Nuke said:- as I turn the sound off and continue reading a book during the adverts

Nuke, I am impressed by your dedication to watching TV with ads. I have given up and source my viewing pleasure from among the following:

* ABC (Oz version of BBC - station ID & endless promos only)

* SBS (Another public broadcaster but seemingly with fewer and LESS-SHOUTY ads than the commercial.stations)

* PVR if there's something I (or more importantly, Mrs Magani) absolutely, positively have to see on a commercial channel so I can skip the ads

* BT channel for other stuff that was probably on a commercial channel and had previously escaped my attention, or more likely never got to the Greater Antipodes at all.

To all ad agencies reading this - I am not your target audience and never will be. I cannot remember when an ad on TV, at the movies, on a billboard or in a magazine caused me to make a purchasing deciding.

Nuke, have a tipple of your choice to aid your reading!

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Happy

Re: @Magani - Audience or client?

"To all ad agencies reading this - I am not your target audience and never will be. I cannot remember when an ad on TV, at the movies, on a billboard or in a magazine caused me to make a purchasing deciding."

caused me to consciously make a purchasing deciding.

There. Fixed that for you. You're probably the perfect advertising target. We all are, to some extent.

There was a discussion recently (was in this august website?) about the future of adverts being 5-10 seconds long as most people have got the gist of it by then, especially the younger "techy" generation who are hopping about all over the web doing multiple task at the same time. YouTube bring up the "Skip this ad" close button after 5-10 seconds being the prime example.

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Trollface

Re: @Magani - Audience or client?

Advertising is far more about brand awareness than it is about specific buying decisions. A lot of people will buy a product because they've "heard of the company" that makes it rather than one made by they haven't. Especially if price isn't a huge issue for them.

And if it is, then the ads probably weren't targeted at them anyway.

Retroactively inserting ads into old content is an obscene idea - I'd go totally apeshit if ads were inserted into the aforementioned Casablanca. I think it would bother me far more than, say, the Pope & the Queen being gang-raped by baboons on live TV as a comparison*

*In fact I'd probably pay to see that.

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Anonymous Coward

They are the sickest, twisted bunch of people I've ever seen!

Enough said!

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A little bit I don't mind

As long as it's used to substitute TV ads, rather than simply in addition to them, I don't mind, and as long as it's not obvious or intrusive (the pickup truck in the video was obvious, the fake TV behind the stand up guy was intrusive).

It's also ironic that a lot of producers are required to pay ridiculous amounts of money/jump through hoops to get clearance to use or even make reference to brands in movies, but now they're spending money trying to get their products back in to the movies...

And what happens if (for example) Ford paid huge sums of money to get their cars into a movie, and the film then airs on TV with GM ads and billboards everywhere? I'm fairly certain Ford won't be too happy, unless there are guarantees that can be made about the types/brands that are used in the ads, I can see traditional product placement disappearing - in effect, nothing changes, and no extra money is made.

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FAIL

Re: A little bit I don't mind

"And what happens if (for example) Ford paid huge sums of money to get their cars into a movie, and the film then airs on TV with GM ads and billboards everywhere?"

And that's where it all falls down.

Product placement in a film brings money in to the production, and therefore helps it to get made in the first place.

Digital product placement in a broadcast film brings money to the broadcaster, or perhaps to whoever is licensing it to them. The hype surrounding this approach suggests this means better value for the audience, which suggests that advertising income means less cost to the consumer - so our Sky/Virgin Media subscriptions will be cheaper, will they? Yeah, right! But anyway, I've sidetracked...

As you've said, the digital product placement in the broadcast version might very well run counter to the actual product placement in the production itself. This is likely to result in large brands not willing pay so much for actual product placement, or possibly even not bother with it at all, which could mean less money being spent on the production itself.

One way around this would be for companies like MirriAd to step in at production time, and where Big Brand might have paid the producers to place their goods in the viewers' line of sight, MirriAd pays them to keep a nice big space for them to digitally add shit later. And in that scenario, nothing's really changed other than the method by which product placement is done - and no saving to be passed on to the viewing audience (which won't happen anyway).

Actually, in that scenario one thing might change: By leaving space open for digital placement, I suppose that space could be argued as being worth more (since they could sell the space again and again and again), so the likes of MirriAd could be expected to stump up more for it in the first place - and that would mean more money coming into the production, so we get better quality films etc. (And then I woke up...)

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Re: A little bit I don't mind

If I'm following this correctly, it will be filmed with a generic car which will transform itself into a Ford / Ferarri / Tata Nano depending on what it thinks your demographic is.

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FAIL

Re: A little bit I don't mind

"As long as it's used to substitute TV ads"

as if!

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I'm frustrated and annoyed that advertisers are all focusing on "targeted" adverts, because they all rely on Orwellian levels of surveillance to be able to gather the information needed to target them in the first place. It's downright creepy and instrusive that not only am I expected to give a damn about whatever piece of consumerist crap that is being thrust upon me, they expect to know every single detail about my preferences, all harvested from spying on me.

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I still dont get targetted advertising.

OK, I do a bit of scooting around on the interwebs, find the widget I want and order it. Why should I then be interedted in any more widgets? Hullo, I have one, I know where I bought it, I know who sold it to me and I know how to find them. Now just piss off.

The same goes for being bombarded with catalogues from some idiot who thinks that, because I bought a widget from their catalogue/site/whatever, I will have an urge to buy more of what he sells. Hullo: Piss off.

As for James Bond ditching martinis to drink near frozen gnats urine; good luck to him. He's just ditched another vestige of the style that created him and taken a step towards becoming a mere yob. Can you imagine the degree to which the characters image would have failed, had it been started in the very first place as a larger swilling pugilist?

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Headmaster

@Inventor of the Marmite Laser - Re: I still dont get targetted advertising.

Wrote :- "As for James Bond ditching martinis to drink near frozen gnats urine; good luck to him. He's just ditched another vestige of the style that created him"

Until this, there were a number of things James Bond never did :-

Drink beer (until now)

Wait for a bus (Drove one in Live & Let Die, rode one in Quanum of Solace but did not need to wait)

Cook

Go to the loo (sat on one in Diamond are for Ever, but did not use it)

Ride a pedal bike

Do painting and decorating

Need to look for a parking space

Do house maintenance

Read a book

Do gardening

Clear up behind him

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