Ad Man's Dream

They Wouldn't Be Allowed To Advertise If It Wasn't True

Its interesting to watch how people behave at times. Its particularly interesting to observe them when they feel threatened. How they cling to petty notions and unfounded beliefs.

I was staying with a relative recently, an elderly female. A septuagenarian. Some time back, she had purchased several ionizers and placed them in each room. I switched off the unit in my room, as it produced a high-pitched whistle when working. My aunt, was going deaf and could not hear the whistle.

Each time she came into my room she would switch the unit back on. I could hear it whistling away and quickly hit the kill switch. My aunt asked my why I kept switching the unit off. I explained about the high-pitch it gave off. She responded: "I can't hear anything". Enough said.

A couple of days later, she showed me an advert for the same unit in a Sunday supplement magazine. I laughed and suggested the only thing they cleaned up was the amount of money they made. This irked her.

I suggested the units did nothing but burn electricity and you were better off opening a window to freshen the air. This inflamed her even more. I could see her getting more agitated by the minute.

I googled for: "Why ionizers dont work". Read through a few posts and found a couple that explained why they didn't work. Why they were a waste of money, and if you bought one, to return it and get your money back.

This infuriated her. I was attacking her heart-held belief. And that's not allowed.

Her: "Of course they work". She retorted.
Me: "Why do you say that?"
Her: "They must work, or they wouldn't be allowed to sell them".
Me: "What? Can't believe I'm hearing this"
Her: "They advertise them, so they must work".
Me: "Are you being serious?"
Her: "Yes. Look at the advert in the paper".
Me: "That proves nothing".
Her: "They wouldn't be allowed to advertise if it wasn't true".
Me: "Who's gonna stop them?"
Her: "What are you talking about?"
Me: "I'm talking about advertising and who polices the adverts."
Me: "Tell me who stops them printing what they like in an ad?"
Her: Silence
Me: "Come on. Tell me. Please explain who stops them?"
Her: Now fuming. Steam coming out of her ears
Me: "Well? Please elaborate".
Her: "You know nothing".

She storms out the room.

A little while later when she had cooled down a I tried to explain to her that anybody can produce any ad they like and the papers will print it as long as you pay for the ad. She called me a liar. My aunt carries some incongruent belief that the "Ad Police" will stop you producing and advertising malevolent products or fraudulent claims. Little does she know.

Really I could not make this stuff up. Ad men love my aunt and the millions out there just like her, that truly believe that ALL adverts are true, honest and factual. Nothing could be further from the truth.

An ad-man's dream.