An online ad for Qwest internet service says, “Connection speeds up to 7 mbps just $25 a month for 12 months.” That sounds pretty good. Maybe I’m actually interested. Ooops! Wait one cotton-picking minute. Underneath comes the bad news in grayed text and a smaller font: “When bundled with home phone service.” Ah, therein lies the rub!
Or consider Dan Hesse, the CEO of Sprint, the guy who inserts himself into his own company’s TV commercials, when he says, “Wouldn’t it be nice to get everything we offer for one low monthly rate?” Sure. I’d go for all that and a bag of chips. By the way, what is the rate for their “Simply Everything” plan? $99.99 a month for an individual or $189.98 a month for the “family” version (which includes up to two lines.) Fuck me! For a goddamn cell phone?????? Why doesn’t he mention those numbers in the TV commercials? Not exactly the kind of information that will induce one to sprint to the phone to order, eh?
Taco Bell (quickly approaching cliché status here in the abyss) is currently running an advertising campaign for something known as the “Drive-Thru Diet.”
How does a dictionary define the word “diet?”
“a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight”
What does Taco Bell say about usage of the word “diet” in the fine print for this promotion?
“DRIVE-THRU-DIET® IS NOT A WEIGHT-LOSS PROGRAM … NOT A LOW CALORIE FOOD.”
Calling it a “diet” while at the same time claiming it is not a diet. Fiendishly clever, motherfuckers.
Or how about the local big box store? They run an ad that says “Everything is on sale!” with an asterisk. The fine print, of course, says something like: “Excludes housewares, linens and home electronics.” It makes me wonder how they can use the word “everything” for something like that. You keep using that word “everything.” I do not think it means what you think it means. Inconceivable!
The biggest bundle pusher ever, however, has got to be Charter Cable, one of the worst companies of all time. They can’t sell all of their cable TV advertising space, so they cram those unsold spots to the gills with commercials for their own shit. Which consists primarily of them hyping something known as the Charter “bundle.” They want you to “bundle and save” but the reality is that if you fall for the bundle you’ll end up sending them more money than if you had only ordered what you really wanted. On the plus side, however, Charter assures you that one of the benefits is that your bill will be “simplified.” Gee, if only there was someone who had control over the bill who cared enough to make it simple in the first place. Bundle up your cable TV, your high-speed internet and our crappy telephone product and “save.” Of course, bundling doesn’t change the fact that it is still the same shitty company. FAIL.
What ever happened to truth in advertising? Why are companies allowed to advertise using words that are absolutely devoid of meaning and are utterly false? Why does our government simply stand by and shrug as they do that? Advertisers shouldn’t be allowed to use a word like “everything” unless it actually means “everything.” I mean, come on! That’s the freakin’ purpose of that particular word! The fact is that our government doesn’t enforce jack shit on commercials except in the most extreme and egregious of cases. The rest of the time it is open season, and on who? Yep, the American consumer.
By the way, “He went to Jared” isn’t covered by the concept of truth in advertising. For that we desperately need the Anti-Hurl in Advertising Act or what I like to call AHAA!