Topic Tag: Police Advertisement Analysis - …

The experimental "laboratory" consisted of a two-room office suite located in or near a retail shopping area. One of the rooms was used as a viewing room and the other for filling out questionnaires. The viewing rooms were configured to resemble, as closely as possible, the normal conditions in which a person views political advertisements. Comfortable couches and chairs were arranged in front of a television set, with houseplants and wall hangings placed around the room. Respondents were offered coffee, cookies, and soft drinks to enjoy during the viewing sessions. In most cases, family members or friends took part in the experiment at the same time, so that respondents did not find themselves sitting next to a stranger while viewing the political advertisements.

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What accounts for the significant reputation gap between the two genres of advertising? We suggest two explanations. First, public distaste for political advertisements may stem from the belief that electoral choice and consumer choice are not equivalent activities. Purchasing a particular brand of soap or cereal is one thing, selecting the next president or senator quite another. The fact that voting is a "serious" task tends to undermine the legitimacy of "non-serious" forms of political communication. People may be averse to political advertising simply because it clashes with widespread norms concerning the nature of citizenship and campaigns for public office.

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In a series of ads, children hold assault weapons alongside items that have been banned by the federal government (like "Kinder Surprise" ) and local school districts (an edition of "Little Red Riding Hood" depicting a bottle of wine in the young protagonist's picnic basket) for being too "dangerous" for kids.

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Credit Vladimir Astapkovich/Sputnik, via Associated Press

The advertising industry takes for granted that the public’s dislike for political ads will spillover to product ads. In this study, however, we find a somewhat different result. Exposure to political ads drives down evaluations of political ads while leaving product ads untouched. In comparison with political ads, product ads appear even more attractive and credible. In other words, our results indicate a . Watching political ads that they perceive as less truthful and appealing, people realize that product ads, relatively speaking, are not so bad. Rather than calling for a greater curbs on political advertisers, commercial advertisers should instead encourage the greater use of political advertising in general and negative political advertising in particular. If form holds and the next campaign features a sufficient number of nasty negative ads, many voters, instead of making the trip to the voting booth on election day, may well make the trek to the mall –or stay home to enjoy another Miller Light.

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