What does this describe?

[The use of] of electronic … systems to send unsolicited bulk messages

Pretty much every ad sent over the airwaves. It’s also the Wikipedia definition of spam.

Broadcast advertisers are spamming television viewers – the only thing that makes TV ads not spam is the economic model. They’re just as annoying and disruputive and time-wasting as email spam and just as unaligned to my interests 90% of the time (no, I don’t need any Cialis, and no, I don’t want to buy a Chevy Tahoe Ford Freestyle).

Hat tip to Jenna Buckle for planting the seed.


  1. It’s probably an overstatement to say the traditional broadcasting is spam for couple of reasons.

    First broadcast advertisements have some relatively broad audience characteristics that are associated with interest in the product. Secondly the other part of the definition that isn’t included above is that traditional media has costs (and pretty high ones) that are not associated with spamming. Traditional advertisement also has responsibilities for its ads and bodies that can sanction it oversteps (some relatively broad) boundaries.

    For the spammer all you need to have an interest in Viagra is an e-mail account – oh yea – and now television – maybe you’re right.

  2. esuntu

    Here is the incompleteness of the term Spam itself. The right way should be “[The use of] of electronic … systems to send unsolicited bulk messages to the users PRIVATE SPACE”. i.e. e-mail, blog comments, even postbox or car windshields…
    Why just private space?

    Because it’s Your private property. You’re the boss there and if someone sends unwanted advertisement to it, the law is broken and You can call it spam.

    If someone else wants to put advertisement in it’s private property, He has the exclusive rights to do that. And by using third person offered product, You automatically agree to the usage conditions. So You agree to the advertisement. There is no law or social standards broken. There is not even nothing to discuss about. You are the consumer, the tv or radio is the provider. There are not just Your rights, there are Your responsibility. Basta!

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