Had by the Ad?

Issue section: 

Noel Douglas says of the Cesky Sen hoax (September SR) that, "like much of the best art, Cesky Sen... provokes a response which raises more questions than it answers."

Yet the response of those drawn to the fake advertising campaign was not one of people questioning the role of advertising in society. Instead they felt duped, conned and angry.

What are the ideas behind this well resourced hoax? That advertisers tell lies? That people respond to an advertising campaign that might be promising them something new? Surely these are rather obvious points to be making.

The ordinary people who flocked to the Cesky Sen facade felt they were dupes because they were dupes - that was the "success" of the project. If those being duped are a key part of the artwork, then they are not its audience at all. So who is the real audience? Could it be that it is an elite group amused by how easy it is to con people?

Joe Hartney