Have you noticed lately on your television that there are a stunning number of crappy infomercial-quality ads running during prime time? That is because the fancy advertisers are broke. We live in Snuggie's world now.

The Simpsons last night was replete with ads for 5 Hour Energy that seemed to have been filmed in one take, in a locker room, with a Handicam. Fortunately the NYT today confirms that this isn't my imagination. The collapse of ad sales, and the decline of the auto industry, means that even regular networks—and even, sometimes, in prime time—are increasingly forced to plug empty spots with cheap ass infomercial standbys.

“I like to say that we’re getting beachfront property at trailer park prices,” [Infomercial guy] said. “We’re clearing stuff at prime time, which we almost never do.”

Print, radio and Internet companies also filled space with these ads. For example, a full-page ad for an Amish room heater has been running in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Christ it's true, we've totally seen that! We're in for some dark days in television advertising, particularly. The lead story on Ad Age's website right now: Snuggie. It's the hot new thing in marketing. We'll all be couch-bound Druids soon enough.

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