Is there really truth in advertising?


Because I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to be, I went to college several times, earning several associate degrees.

Among the many degrees I earned, there was one for advertising and another for business management. With those degrees, I was self-employed for several years. One of the gigs I did was making and selling jewelry, selling speciality advertising items along with marketing imports.

The knowledge I gained from doing that helped me out several times in learning to check products out.

A car company runs ads on TV claiming they sell cars at really good prices, with a low down payment, with low monthly payments, and they can get anyone financed.

Back when I was looking for a vehicle, one of their ads was running. I paused the TV. I got a magnifying glass to read all of the small print. As I read through the tiny, fine print, it basically explained that most of what was said in the ad wasn’t accurate.

I wasn’t happy with what I learned. According to the criteria, I didn’t qualify for a loan. Knowing that saved me a two-hour drive one way and being disappointed.

I also used to do a lot of buying on internet sale’s sites. Once again I questioned the truth in advertising. Several sellers listed their items as antique or vintage or a limited edition. After checking more into the items, I found that also wasn’t necessarily always accurate.

After encountering those incidents, I learned to question advertisements. That was why I was skeptical when a friend of mine called me up excited about an ad for a low cost, environmentally friendly clothes dryer she had found.

She read the ad to me that said the dryer was revolutionary in that it totally operated on 100% clean, green energy.

My friend has several young children so she does a lot of laundry, and she was looking for ways to save money on energy bills.

She was excited, thinking she found a wonderful product that would save her time, money, and help the environment.

In her excitement, she continued to read the ad that claimed the best money saving way to dry clothes was to harness the sun and wind.

The product was called an “all-green energy umbrella dryer.” The best part was its low cost of $275 without on-going expenses for its use like a traditional dryer. It also had a life-time guarantee!

The more she read about her wonderful find, the more red flags it raised for me — especially the term “umbrella.”

To save space, the standard clothesline was condensed into a pole with arms that branch out to have ropes attached to hang clothes that are dried by the sun and wind.

The most expensive one I found online was about $50. When I emailed my findings about the green-energy clothes line, she didn’t believe me so she ordered it to check it out.

Although I was right, she ended up liking the umbrella clothesline, because it did save her money and she liked the way her clothes smelled from the fresh air.

No matter the name or fancy terms used, a clothesline is still just a clothesline.

Mary Drier is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Huron Daily Tribune. She can be reached by emailing hdt_news@hearstnp.com. 



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