Sublimation on the WWW

Are there any laws against including subliminal messages on websites? It would be very easy to do, animated gifs or whatever. Would it depend on where you were viewing the site from?

I know they are supposed to be banned from use in television/cinema but I have never heard of a regulatory body which handles this kind of thing on the web.

Why would you want to bother, considering they don’t work?

Words of the Master
Does subliminal advertising work?
Are subliminal messages secretly embedded in advertisements?

But what about the answer to the question?

Are these messages banned from websites in those countries that also ban them from TV / cinema ads?

I’m pretty sure the web enjoys a liquid state before vapourising.

IANAL but I doubt they’re banned on websites. This is simply because it would be so hard to police that companies wouldn’t bother.

And you’ve got the whole site hosted in Country X but viewed in Country Y problem. Advertising on the web doesn’t seem to stick to the same rules that apply for advertising elsewhere. There may be some sort of internal code of conduct but I doubt all advertisers stick to it.

I’d doubt any reputable company would do it because a) it doesn’t really work (see above) and b) someone would spot it and start an outcry, an e-mail petition, a mass boycot of the company and some pro-active computer dude would probably hack their site in response.

Of course a company might do it for this reason, but here the real advertising is coming from the generated outcry and coverage (which is free) than from the subliminal messages.

We could, of course, design a site with two big red buttons one with a subliminal ‘push me’ in it and measure which one gets pressed more. Hmmm, that’d be quite fun actually I might add that to my list of things to do when bored one day.


The process of a solid (CO[sub]2[/sub] fer instance) going directly to a gaseous state (do not pas go, do not collect $200) is subliming.

 Sublimation is a psychological mechanism in which one drive is substituted for another.  This is done on TV all the time when a character who craves sex, transfers that craving to food.

What the OP is concerned with is the subliminal. Which raises the question? Why (Outside the Simpsons) do you never hear of liminal or supraliminal messages?

For what it’s worth, one of my favorite computer news sites, “As The Apple Turns,” uses a subliminal message in the banner ad for the site.

It’s meant as a gag, of course, and as far as I know it doesn’t work. At least, I haven’t been feeling any unusual cravings for dried corn or a desire to cluck…