Speech About Misleading Advertising
Has this ever happened to you? You see something advertised on television that looks great! You call the toll free number, give them your credit card, and in a few days the dream item to thought was such a bargain arrives. And you can't believe your eyes! What you received was nothing like what you thought you ordered. Welcome to the club. You've just joined thousands of people who are misled by false advertising each and every year, according to statistics from the Advertising Council, a U.S.-based watchdog organization that strives to keep honesty in advertising. Do those two concepts -- honesty and advertising -- go together? We'll explore that question during the next few minutes. I'm going to cover three points: 1) How certain advertisers can and do lie; 2) How to protect yourself from becoming a victim; and 3) What laws are on the side of the consumer.
A recent lawsuit in Boston tried a company that had been selling, and I quote, "beautifully sculpted metal bust of Abraham Lincoln, one of our leading presidents. Acclaimed the world over, this sculpture is one of a kind. And it's yours for the low, low price of $29.95." Some 3,000 citizens around the country sent in orders for this "bust of Lincoln" and were rather mad when it finally came in the mail. Why? What had been delivered was a U.S. penny! That's right, $29.95 (plus $3 shipping and handling). Now here's the real kicker. The company that sold these pennies for $30 each, had not broken any laws. Its ad pitch was verifiable. It was a metal sculpture. Lincoln was a revered President. This is a bold example, I grant you, but it serves to illustrate one important point. Advertisers have one goal, and one goal only. To use words -- like in the example above with the penny -- and pictures to get you to do something, take a trip, buy a deodorant, eat a cereal, drive a car. That's