One of my pet peeves is multigrain labels emblazoned on foods lately. Technically the food has more than one grain in it, but they are touting the product as something healthy when they have still stripped all fiber and goodness out, so the health benefits are still lacking. This is very popular in cereals, and unless you read the label you'd think you were buying something healthy, when really it's just as junky as cocoa puffs.
The "no sugar added" label is another one I find quite vague. There are several different iterations of this one. No sugar added, sugar free, the list goes on. What do they all mean? Again, you have to carefully read the nutrition facts and ingredients to get a better picture of what you'll be buying.
I guess it's basically the idea that advertisers must follow the letter of the law but not the spirit of it. So for something like Airborne (which I've ranted about before), they can make vague claims that basically say nothing to skirt the issue that there is no science behind their product. Then, to make it worse, they strategically make sure it's placed near the pharmacy to appeal to authority. I think in some places they have signs saying that pharmacists recommend Airborne. But really, to make that claim you only have to pay two pharmacists to say what you want to be truthful.
I find it all incredibly frustrating and discouraging. And the only solution is to be aggressively proactive about shopping and watching ads or commercials. Be skeptical!
This is part one of tackling this topic for three reasons.
- One, I don't think we can do it justice in one post.
- Two, I really want your feedback. What are your pet peeves in advertising? What examples stand out for you? What logical fallacies do you see in advertising and marketing?
- And three, I just got the new parts for my computer and have to build my newer, better, faster computer today (with the help of my geek friend, Gary. Thanks Gary!). :P This is my birthday present from my sweetie. Thanks, my love! :D
Ok, I'm off to go fiddle with my new computer parts. Hopefully it all goes well. I look forward to hearing from you about fallacies in advertising! :)