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January 07, 2009

Commercial Advertising: There's a Time and a Place

Aspca My six-year-old son came running into our bedroom on Sunday night, his face full of fresh tears, in near hysterics.

"Mom, you have to come see.  There's a dog cut in half on the tv.  We have to help him," he said hurriedly, barely able to get the words out.

"Honey, I'm sure he's not cut in half.  They wouldn't show something like that on tv."

"Yes!  Yes!  They did," he insisted.  "You need to come see.  Now."

I couldn't come right away because I was trying to get his baby sister down for the night, so I told him that Daddy would be in in a minute to come look, and to pause the tv.  Ahh, the wonders of Tivo.

The Husband went to go check it out.  It was an ASPCA commercial.  At 8 pm.  On a childrens channel.  I am ALL for moving and emotional television commercials that drive you to action, or more importantly, to your wallet.  I understand that graphic imagery helps such causes.  I don't, however, think it's cool to be showing it on a childrens television station, particularly at a time when they're likely awake. 

It took The Husband a good 30-45 minutes to calm our son down enough to have a conversation about the commercial, and explain what the ASPCA is all about.  I swear if he knew how to, he would have donated every last cent we have to them right then and there.  He carefully wrote down the website and the telephone number so that we could call the next day and help.

And don't think that he forgot.  No, not my son.  The next morning he asked if we could go on the website and donate.  I told him that when he came home from school, we would go online and see what we could do.  What he really wanted to do was bring home all the cats and dogs he saw in the commercial.  I love that his heart is that big and I know exactly where that comes from.  When I was a teenager, I hid a cat in my bedroom for a month.  I rescued him and wasn't allowed any more pets. 

Don't get me wrong.  I am all for supporting a good cause, especially when it comes to pets and children.  All our animals have been rescues and we donate (time, products and money) as we can.  But really ... who is it helping to upset children like that?

This is an original post for New Jersey Moms Blog.  When she's not explaining to her son that the dog really wasn't cut in half, Cate can also be found writing on her food blog, Sweetnicks, and reviewing all sorts of things on The Voice of Mom.

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