Friday, 15 May 2009

Of Dodgy Marketing and Half-Price Sofas

Marketing has really gone to a dark place. Was it ever light? I don't honestly know. All I can say is that I take everything I hear in adverts with at least half a kilogramme of salt. A pinch would hardly suffice.

Every other thing seems to be on "sale" or "half price" these days. It "was £100" and for some inexplicable reason is "now £20". I exaggerate as usual, but I'm sure you get the point. Isn't there something fundamentally dishonest about all this? How about the "half-price sofas" advertised by such companies as DFS? Has anyone every bought a full-price sofa from these places? I'd really love to hear from you!

I have a legal background and know a fair bit about misselling, trading standards and the like. The big advertisers are just as knowledgeable, but it seems they trample the spirit of the law into the cold hard ground on a daily basis. Take for instance, small print. Not the ones you can hold in your hand and read if you really, really tried. No, I'm talking about the ones on posters and billboards... the tiny chicken-scratches referenced by the ominous asterix at the end of some extraordinary claim or other.

"Fly to America, FREE!*"

*when we said free we didn't really mean free, we were just exhaling...honest!

I get really upset by the ones on the other side of the train, where you want to believe whatever silly thing the advert has claimed, but you just know the illegible print situated on the poster will spoil everything. You want to read said illegible print to be sure, but it's totally impractical to do this without planting yourself firmly infront of your fellow passenger's face.

I have nothing against creative advertising and savy marketing. I just don't like it when folks refuse to play fair.

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