SES Advertising

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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bonsai
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SES Advertising

Postby bonsai » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:22 pm

Just spotted the latest advertisement by the SES on the London Underground. I just had to take a photo of it and post it.

http://reference.ses-forums.org/wp-cont ... Sep091.jpg

The wording of the advertisement is:
This poster can make your life happier than any other on the platform.

Holidays come and go. Clothes wear out. Drinks run out, but philosophy last a lifetime. This course of practical philosophy looks at wisdom as a source of happiness; the nature of reason, beauty; justice and the power of attention. Join us for 10 sessions designed to find the ways that lead to freedom and happiness.
You can vary your day of attendance from week to week. The course takes place every weekday evening at 7pm and Saturday mornings at 10 am. Fee £135 (students £45). Autumn term starts 28th Sept. 11 Mandeville Place, London W1U 3AJ. Text HAPPY to 60030 or call 020 7034 4000 or Google PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHY.


To me this poster says very clearly that the SES has the key to happiness, something that I think many of the contributors to this forum would regard as a false promise. And far from the key to freedom, the SES has the pontential of trapping people in the organisation and exploiting them for its own purposes.

Bonsai

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ET
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby ET » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:46 pm

Thanks for this Bonsai. Just googled "practical philosophy" and the first site to come up on the search is http://www.practicalphilosophy.org.uk, the website for the journal of the Society for Philosophy in Practice, which has no links to the SES as far as I can see. The SES site, http://www.practicalphilosophy.co.uk is third, and it's clear that it's the School of Economic Science site, so presumably someone who had read the ad properly would be able to find it easily.

Let's hope they also google "School of Economic Science", as the fourth link to come up then is "School of Economic Science A Cult", which I would hope would lead them to read around the subject and find out what a sinister lot they really are.

I think this ad is very clever, particularly the superimposed photo of the young girl looking up at the poster. Let's hope not too many people get sucked in by it.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

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bonsai
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby bonsai » Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:46 pm

At the very top is a sponsored link by the SES, which relates directly to the poster.

That takes you to a very specific website that has all sorts of flashy bits to reinforce the message of the poster. Lot's of video clips from people who have supposedly done the course.

The whole thing makes me fume. It's so misleading! It catches people because it is not what it seems.

Bonsai

bluegreen
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby bluegreen » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:35 pm

I suggest someone who lives in London should go out with a black marker and do a bit of graffiti.
St James Girls School 1977-1981

Witness
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby Witness » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:42 pm

This ad will backfire. People are far too sceptical to be sold "happiness" so blatantly. The abuse of the words 'happy' and 'freedom' will turn many people away cringing and then laughing in disbelief.

Still, this shows SES is desperate, revealing its true colours. Not the poster with the quasi-intellectual, deceptive hints at wisdom any more - now we have hard selling of commercial self help in a short dress.

This may accelerate SES resignations as people who thought they were on a search for the truth are humiliated by what appears to be nothing better than a vacuous ad for a course of Prozac.

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Cousin It
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby Cousin It » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:14 am

bonsai wrote:The whole thing makes me fume. It's so misleading! It catches people because it is not what it seems.
Bonsai

Quite right. My experience is that once the initial buzz wears off people in the school are actually more miserable than people not in the school.
You should see a tutors' meeting! A more dour, miserable group of people you would never see.
Cheers,
Cousin

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Cousin It
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby Cousin It » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:34 am

Witness wrote:The abuse of the words 'happy' and 'freedom' will turn many people away cringing and then laughing in disbelief.

In Melbourne and possibly elsewhere they ran ads with the headline "When was the last time you felt this free?" accompanied by the picture of a child on a beach throwing their arms back in exhilaration.
The last time I personally felt this free was when I left the school. It was magnificent! I still remember the buzz every Thursday night when I knew I didn't have to go to group.
Cheers,
Cousin

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bonsai
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby bonsai » Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:58 am

Witness wrote:This ad will backfire. People are far too sceptical to be sold "happiness" so blatantly. The abuse of the words 'happy' and 'freedom' will turn many people away cringing and then laughing in disbelief.


If only! I'd like to believe that the general public are cynical and skeptical as you suggest and that advertising was rendered ineffective. Of course this is not the case. We all fall for it even those of us who feel that we are aware of it and believe we make rational choices. And of course enough people buy viagra from a spam e-mail to make it worthwhile.

People's lives can be so lacking in happiness and wellbeing that they'll give this a try. I only hope that they are sensible enough to do some research before hand and find sites such as this forum that may make them question what they are getting involved in.

I think the advert is clever. It picks on people's vulnerabilities after summer holidays. The website (http://www.philosophycourse.com/index.html) to which the advert refers is also clever. It embraces all the modern media including video clip. I love the way these clips don't reveal anything about what the course is like or involves. They all look like zombies too. All too politically correct as well.

Bonsai
Last edited by bonsai on Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tootsie
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby Tootsie » Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:32 am

Wow. Selling happiness. Think I'll check ebay to see what its worth!

Tootsie
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby Tootsie » Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:48 am

Checked ebay and they have the following book at $11.99. Happiness is a Regular Complete Bowel Motion.

Witness
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:55 pm

Re: SES Advertising

Postby Witness » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:39 am

Join us for 10 sessions designed to find the ways that lead to freedom and happiness.


I thought this abuse of the word 'freedom' went out of fashion when Operation Iraqi Freedom went so horribly wrong and we realized our Leaders were lying to us.

Oops.

Gerasene Demon
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby Gerasene Demon » Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:48 pm

x
Last edited by Gerasene Demon on Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Witness
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby Witness » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:22 am

Gerasene Demon wrote:Am I allowed a refund?


Actually yes, you may be entitled to a refund according to UK law.

SES may be in breach of The Trade Descriptions Act 1968, which describes it as an offence
if a trader "applies a false trade description to any goods."

Though SES is a charity providing a service rather than a company providing a product, the Act states
misleading labels (including adverts) about services (as well as goods) are in fact against the law.

A PDF summary of the Act can be found at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/files/file8156.pdf

SES are clearly offering freedom and happiness for a fee. If people instead receive mind control
and abuse for that fee, UK law would support a request for a refund. A successful refund may trigger
a review of the organization's charitable status, its corporate and religious aspects, its well documented
health risks, and therefore its right to advertise without a warning of risk.

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bonsai
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby bonsai » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:23 am

Gerasene Demon wrote:Am I allowed a refund?


Judging by the T&C's on the website related to the advert (http://www.philosophycourse.com/terms_conditions.html), they do cover refunds.

Philosophycourse.com wrote:Terms & Conditions
Fees
You must pay the appropriate course fee before joining a class. Consideration may be given in cases of financial hardship. Prospective students should telephone 020 7034 4000 before the start of term.

Cancellation
You may cancel your enrolment, for any reason, before the end of the second week of term (irrespective of whether you have attended a class). The fee will be refunded to you, less a £5 administration charge.

Completion of a course
If you do not substantially complete a course, you may attend all classes in the equivalent course in the following term at no extra cost.

Reasonable Behaviour
Any person enrolled in a course is expected to behave in an appropriate manner and to show common respect for fellow students.


Given the bit in the terms and conditions that says you can cancel for any reason I suspect that they get round the law bits.

Bonsai

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morrigan
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Re: SES Advertising

Postby morrigan » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:56 pm

What would happen if we put "RUBBISH" on the advertisements in the tubes?

If we put, "DON'T JOIN THEM!" it might interest people too much who saw the ads...


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