I don't think I've bought anything that was advertised on TV since the toys I used to drool over when I was a kid.
I have no way of saying for sure, but even if you mean you haven't bought anything directly because of the ad, that seems unlikely. (Unless EVERYTHING you buy is generic no-name brand items, you presumably have bought lots of things that have shown up in ads of some sort.)
Personally, I generally avoid ads like the plague (with Tivos now, and VCRs before that), but I still end up seeing many of them at least once... and I will even admit buying something I'd seen in an ad, like a new item at a fast food place.
But I suspect, if you do buy brand-name items ever, the ads in the past have at least brought that product to your attention (mind-share). With all things being equal (e.g. price), I think that at some point the mind-share created by the ad got you to buy something.
I think you've got it backwards. The kids who would kill themselves are the ones who are (a) smart enough to have read and understood the book, and (b) interested enough to ask "what happens if..."
In other words, you've killed off the ones most likely to push science and technology forward, and preserved the ones that are either too timid to take risks or too dumb to read.
Of course, recouping cost via advertising is another spin... but ultimately comes down to repayment. If we really want to subject ourselves to ads, we should be able to do it for straight-up cash, or payment on our loan (of cash or phone-lease).
The word "lease" just clarified this issue a bit for me. Leasing equipment from our phone provider is really an old idea... and one we've fought hard against. Why are we so anxious to get back into that situation?
Besides making everyone look up from making their sandwich because the sound suddenly went off during the commercials, I imagine that means the ad was designed to be visually engaging and effective without the audio. Meaning that even with audio, it likely would have been more effective than other ads anyway because it was particularly well made.
It may come as a surprise to some, but revolutions do need money, a lot of it. Even peaceful takeovers such as Orange Revolution on Ukraine require a lot of organization, and that is also money. If the drive behind the revolution is truly by the locals and is fully genuine, then what does it matter that USA pays out their pocket expenses (because they feel that such a revolution would help their bottom line). Similarly, what does it matter that the newly elected leader is pro-USA, if he is truly elected by the people of his nation?
Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984