Cuyamaca Community College Advertising Claims Discussion & Responses

Watch TV, or search the internet for advertising claims you think are misleading or false. Watch for unqualified authority claims, or hasty generalizations. Also watch for stereotyping, vagueness,  ambiguity, euphemisms and dysphemisms. Discuss what you found and why you think the ad is misleading or false. Then tell us how we can protect ourselves from such persuasion. Write a post and respond to two classmates.

Samuel Ziegler

There are many different examples of false and misleading advertising on the internet or TV. Some of the more common topics for these ads included food, health, and production location.

For instance, many food ads I found claim to be “part of a balanced meal” or “healthier than the leading brands”. While these statements may technically be true, they are certainly misleading. Cereals are a common topic, where the advertiser claims they are part of a balanced breakfast. This can be true if the cereal is eaten in a small enough amount with other healthy foods, but the idea that it is inherently healthy is just false. Yet, advertisers know that people will think that when they hear something like “part of a balanced breakfast”.

Another common phrase in advertising is “made in the USA” or another well regarded country that has a reputation for producing quality products. Of course, in the case of many of these advertisements, the product itself is only assembled in the USA, while the constituent parts are produced elsewhere. Technically, it may fit the definition of made in the USA, but that is misleading to consumers who would think that means entirely produced in the USA.

To protect ourselves from such persuasion, we must do our own research and read the fine print. Many products being sold have the undesirable details hidden in fine print, out of the hope that consumers will not pay attention to it. It is imperative for us to not take what advertisers say at face value, do your own research to determine the validity of claims that may seem too good to be true.

Sara Yousif

False Advertisements

An advertisement is considered false if it involves misleading information that might manipulate consumers into purchasing a product or service. Likewise, an advertisement that omits critical information required for consumers’ decision-making is also considered a false advertisement.

A good example of false or misleading advertisements is seen in prescription drugs such as dietary supplements. These products are associated with advertisements that make false claims about the product’s characteristics, therefore, creating a false impression about it (Phillips, 2021). Extenze is a good example of a product that faced several lawsuits for false claims of male enhancement.Not only did the product fail to fulfill its claims in the majority of men, but also the advertisement made false claims that the product was scientifically proven.

Another feature of a misleading advertisement is that it makes false claims on the headline. For instance, this can be observed in a headline that claims to provide immediate results from a product (Noble, 2021). Kashi is a good example of this form of false advertisement as the firm reported its products to be all-natural. In contrast, they were filled with synthetic and unnaturally processed ingredients.

Therefore, consumers should keep themselves informed about the products they plan to purchase to prevent themselves from false advertisements. They should also conduct background research on these products to ascertain their quality and gain more insights on their availability and pricing ranges. Rhodes adds that “Pricing issues are one area where consumers have an excellent ability to make prudent marketplace decisions for themselves. All they need to do is comparison shop – onlineor offlineto understand what item they are purchasing and how they want to value each item” (Rhodes, 2018).

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