TALK OF THE TRADE : Why radio jingles just jangle

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The Independent Online
Radio advertisements have always been a bit of a joke, poor relations to high-spending television. Now the Radio Advertising Bureau has issued a compact disc, combining interviews with top practitioners, and the best commercials from the past 21

years.

The experts profess great respect for a classic series of Philips ads, which took the line that it wasn't just the Japanese who made desirable consumer electronics: the Dutch could do it, too. But it is Chris Tarrant, Capital Radio's golden boy, who makes the crispest and most telling observation about where the ads go wrong.

"Too many words ... to the listener they are complete gibberish.'' Writers agree: they say radio ads are far less flexible with their scripts, and don't allow the performers to contribute as much as they should.

I was struck by how forgettable radio adverts are, and how few have become common currency. This lack of impact may also reflect the fact that until two years ago there were no national commercial stations to ram the wordy messages home.

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