Possible Side Effects "... Can be Fatal." Really?
Isn't it time for a governing body for advertising? Normally I only see the North American ads but I am sure all members of the developed world are subjected to similar assaults involving falsehoods and blatant lies.
If nothing else, isn't it insulting how many companies seem to consider us to be total imbeciles? To be fair I suppose some people out there probably do need to be told not to ingest a particular product, even when they already know they are allergic to it!
After many decades don't you wonder just how many times a leading laundry detergent can be "New and Improved?" If they are going to persist isn't it time to see a man doing laundry and holding up his sparkling white sheets with a glowing smile on his face as though he just won the lottery - the highlight of his day? Really? Aren't women somewhere just screaming about this?
What about all of the CYA statements made right at the end of an ad at some ridiculous speed that sounds like someone pressed FF on the recording.?This stuff might be legal but it is impossible to hear. The scary thing is that's the way they want it. Really?
Here is another I have mentioned in my Pet Peeves posting: commercials that are programmed to broadcast several decibels higher than the rest of a broadcast. At least one network stated that they can't control this. Really?
One of the chemical cleaners that is supposed to remove lime, rust, calcium and just about everything else should be kicked off the air. Stains in some fixture or on some wall that look like they are ten years old and impregnated right into the material disappear with a single swipe of the sponge! Really?
The worst has to be those - and there are many - which actually do have a narrator you can understand but when you hear the possible side effects, phrases like "possibly fatal" or "side effects that have included death!" are included. Am I going to buy this? Really?
There is a great documentary about the VW diesel scandal where false claims were made for years about how clean burning their latest diesel motors were. This is an example where eventually - after years - there were huge fines and some prison time imposed. Their customer base probably took a big hit as a result. Well deserved.
It is doubtful whether any government involvement is likely to occur or to be effective. This might be possible within a given country but probably not internationally. In the VW case they actually found that several European administrations were OK with it. Really?
It would be nice to think that an international consumer group would be effective but who has the private funds for that? Some billionaire(s) could take it on - as long as affronts such as those above didn't help to make them their billions in the first place
Best of all the large corporations should police each other and bring the guilty to account for false claims. The group would be self-funded by membership fees for example. Companies willing to do this might indeed win customer loyalty. The great thing is that this would probably be the cheapest method and therefore the most likely to have an effect. Shutting down the false claims of one company would surely benefit those bringing the charges. Companies would have to join to be a member and presumably forgo any right to sue the association or any of its members if a ruling goes against them.
The toughest part would probably be to get consumers to actually band together to stop buying the guilty company's product. If we did you can be sure it would work. Likewise companies that refused to join such a group should also be blackballed by consumers.
This solution places the onus back on the perpetrators to solve the problem. Some self regulating associations - in finance for example - don't work but that is usually where the "crimes" can be covered up by the group. In this case the group itself would censure its own members. There might be some dirty manoeuvering and internal collusion between companies but at least it would be THEIR problem.
Anybody got any other ideas?