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Is It Advertising Or Adverteasing?

Dec 13, 2007
Whatever happened to truth in advertising? I live in Los Angeles, where what you see isn't necessarily what you get. Face lifts, breast implants, liposuction - we're walking billboards for plastic surgery.

I often walk past an apartment complex named Ocean Heaven. It sounds heavenly, but it's three blocks from the ocean.

Downtown there's a sign on a new condo complex that says "Living above LA". I'm not sure if that means it's high living or just above the smog level.

Two stores on the same block have sale signs. One sale is described as huge and the other as colossal. I don't know which is bigger. A blow-out sale sounds bigger - unless it's a fire sale.

Some signs claim they have the lowest prices, they're never undersold or they're liquidating. Unless we're careful, we're being sold a bill of goods. We need a sale on glasses so we can read the small print.

Large print on restaurants claim the world's best hot dog, ice cream or scone. I've tried them and I think those making the claims need to see more of the world. A bakery in Anchorage boasted the world's best scone. It was so bad, the baker must think the world's flat.

In catalog ads what isn't said is more important than what is said. If it doesn't say 14k gold, it isn't. If it doesn't say actual size, it isn't. Instead of giving a friend a gold bracelet for her birthday, I gave her gold-filled dental floss.

If we don't grow hair overnight, speak a foreign language in a week or get rich in thirty days, satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Unfortunately, the majority of us don't ask for refunds unless we've spent more than twenty dollars. This guarantees satisfaction to those selling 21st century snake oil for $19.99.

Then there are the fees for handling and shipping. Am I the only one who thinks these fees are too high? If there really was truth in advertising, these fees would be for shipping and mishandling.

Advertisers can play tricks with words and make our money disappear, but we believe what we want to believe. Common sense tells us that pills won't magically make us lose weight, but we buy them anyway. It's easier to take pills than to change our lifestyle. It's easier to pull the wool over our eyes than to pull on last year's bathing suit.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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