One of our local radio stations randomly phones up people. If you answer with their annoying and objectionable catchphrase, you win cash.

One of the Toronto television stations does something similar with their morning show. The hosts will phone you up and if you answer as they prompt, you’ll win the bag of goodies they’re giving out that week.

Am I alone in thinking that this is some of the most irksome and shrill commercial hijacking of our private lives? I don’t care how much you’re giving away. My phone is not your promotional vehicle. It’s bad enough that we get calls from telemarketers companies or charities with which we have relationships trying to sell us their latest super-combo insurance/air-conditioner/time-share scheme. It’s even more annoying when the phone rings two or three times a day to dead air on the other end, as a busy telemarketing company can’t keep up with the volume of out-bound calls they place. But that they’re going to try and make us parrot their idiotic promotional phrases every time we answer the phone? They’ve got another thing coming.

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