Monday, June 11, 2012

Duplicity In Advertising

 A commercial comes on  plugging a certain brand of disinfectant hand soap (or hand sanitizer) in which they state it "eliminates 99% of germs and bacteria"
...and during the commercial they mention emphatically the number of and type of "common surfaces" which are liable to have any number of viruses and germs "just lying around on them" awaiting physical contact by some unsuspecting poor sap who happens to have need to touch said item with their hands or fingers---upon which they transfer said germs to their sandwiches or their faces when they scratch an itch (or what-have-you).
...thus impressing upon the viewer the urgency of and necessity for obtaining and using this product on a regular and frequent basis.
What they don't mention, of course, is the fact that the amount of bacteria present on most objects is not enough to overwhelm the defense mechanisms of most people if their immune systems are reasonably healthy.
So...on the one hand what they're stating is true: the product kills 99% of most known viruses and bacteria.  And that most material surfaces have all kinds of germs, bacteria, and even viruses present on them.  But it's what they're not mentioning that makes the commercial so deceptive and gimmicky.

Same with a commercial for a breakfast cereal.
They mention on the commercial that their product "meets or exceeds the FDA requirements for" most (or certain) essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals "needed to maintain a balanced diet".
Of course they don't emphasize the fact that their product also contains an excess amount of sugar---or starch...nor do they ever mention all the preservatives they use to keep this product fresh or the emulsifiers they add to keep this hodge-podge of grains and sugars from "turning to mush" or "food dust" during shipping and storage.
Nor do they mention the fact that the man-made vitamins and nutrients they add to this product still can't compare to any of the natural nutrition one gets from eating fruits, vegetables, and cooked meats.

Two generic examples of the common types of duplicity-in-advertising.
It's not about lying or saying anything's about the convenient elimination of "all the other facts" on the subject at hand that creates an inaccurate impression on the viewer (or reader).

No comments:

Post a Comment