Long ago, in a small kingdom not so very far from here a great gloom had descended upon the land as the rich and powerful grappled with the birth of a new social order.
As an early Punch editorial might well have put it:
This education thingummy’s got to stop. Once the servants learn to read, they’ll start getting ideas above their station.
Never mind the bally servants! Caught my wife trying to read my paper this morning. ‘Course she didn’t understand it. But, well!!
Yes, mass communication was on its way, and the world would never be the same again.
Some years down the line, the nouveau riche and powerful in a land beyond a great ocean were reluctantly accepting the concerns of parents whose offspring were being subjected to a barrage of TV sit-coms and advertising lasting as long as 2 hours a day.
Fears that the little darlings would try to emulate their elders and betters as seen on TV heralded the arrival of mass lawsuits.
And so, perforce, the advertising magnates had to deal with all sorts of claims arising from people smoking, drinking and generally carrying on in imitation of what was depicted as a better life on their TV screens.
All well and good, and I’m sure you’ll agree that society at large needs to be able to distinguish between the fantasy of the virtual world and,well, virtually everything else.
And then came Vaibhav Bedi.
This is a man who would have you, and , more importantly, the Indian Courts, believe that he has been so convinced of the message put out by Unilever in extolling the virtues of their bodyspray Lynx – known as Axe in India – that he has been trying for 7 years to experience ‘the Lynx effect’.
Now, prompted by traumas we can only imagine, he is seeking £26,000 from Unilever for the “depression and psychological damage” caused by the lack of any Lynx effect.
Bedi says in his court petition: “The company cheated me because in its advertisements, it says women will be attracted to you if you use Axe. I used it for seven years but no girl came to me.”
OK, he has a point. They would say that, wouldn’t they? But do they really expect us to believe them? Hang on, though. Maybe the ads in India are a little more compelling.
Yep. After watching that for 7 years for sure you’d be sitting in a padded room saying to a man in a white coat, “If you put dash of Lynx on, you see that chocolate fella? That’s you, that is.”