Alison Goulding: “Let them be, they’re dead!”

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DOES anyone else wish adverts would stop using dead people to flog stuff?

Audrey Hepburn ressurected to sell chocolate bars? Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich dug up for a perfume ad?

Good grief, they must be exhausted.

Adverts like these are just giving the Government encouragement to push the retirement age further and further.

The only forgiveable instance of this is Bob Monkhouse returning from the grave to try to stop other poor blokes getting cancer of the delicates.

Which is, frankly, fair enough.

But I’m drawing the line after that. Let them be! They’re dead! The only demands we are entitled to make of them is an occassional haunting and elevation to a status where all flaws are forgotten and all attributes are inflated so we can get drunk now and again and reminisce over made-up/distorted memories.

So it’s a big ‘no’ to any advert that employs what are, effectively, computer-generated zombies. And an even bigger finger wag at the relatives who hawk their ancestors for cash.

Thankfully, there are plenty of adverts out there that give me a warm fuzzy feeling and suck me back into the capatalist womb.

Like the one where the dad is saving up for a Mustang but keeps blowing his money on his daughter’s dreams, especially the bit where he’s got toothpaste all round his mouth as she opens her exam results.

Possibly, though, I’ve been blind-sided by the Johnny Cash track, Thing Called Love, that plays alongside it.

Which makes me nervous. I like Johnny Cash for so many reasons, all of which sit in direct contrast to ‘selling ISAs’.

You’ve got to be careful though, with this tugging-on-heart-strings business.

A car company tried a similiar father/daughter cloying plotline which culminated in him buying her a brand new car to get her through university.

At which point, myself and probably most other normal people, thought: “Errm, what a brat.”

Such wanton levels of spending are a delicate matter best left to the experts.

I won’t name names, but think about the department store Christmas advert with the snowman buying gloves and a scarf for his snow woman wife, and also the one where the little boy can’t wait for the big day so he can give his mum and dad their gifts.

I can’t even think about them without humming the music.

Can you picture the team that came up with those adverts? I wouldn’t want to be mates with any of them.

That level of emotional manipulation is bordering on the sociopathic. And if any of them ever read this column, I mean that as a compliment.

For all their faults and flaws I love adverts. It’s one giant win all round.

If I don’t like them it’s a chance to shout at the telly (my number three favourite pastime) or press mute with withering disdain (number eight).

And if I do like them I can enjoy the plot and cleverly selected music ... and then do nothing about it.

Refusing to buy what they want you to buy is the perfect miniature rebellion and requires none of the effort of more vigorous protests, like, say, going on marches or strategic voting.

It’s like sneaking into the cinema for free, but without the brown pants adrenalin rush.