What if, like in the movie “Liar Liar,” advertisers had to tell you the truth and nothing, but the truth for 24 hours. It would go something like this . . .
Pharmaceutical companies would have to state that their goal is to induce consumers into believing they are ill so that they will demand the company’s latest and most expensive drug in order for the company to increase its revenue.
Insurance companies would admit that they do not stand by you. They’d tell you that they are all about taking in as much money as possible and returning as little as possible so their executives and board of directors can line their parachutes with gold.
Restaurants would have to show you food the way it really looks when you order it, including the half-ripe tomatoes and the wilted lettuce. They would also tell you how they add tons of fat, salt, and sugar to give food flavor instead of using top-notch fresh ingredients.
The as-seen-on-TV product advertising would explain that the product isn’t worth buying even at their low price. They’d explain that they charge a low amount, but make it a hassle to return. Therefore, when the consumer figures out that it is junk, they just keep the product instead of returning it. They have your money and really that is all that matters to them.
Likewise . . . Face creams will tell you how they really won’t do a thing to make you look younger. Cars will tell you that they can’t get you a beautiful woman. Charities would tell you the small percentage of funds that actually go to people or animals in need. And, infomercials would ask “Why do you think we book hours and hours of low-cost airtime for commercial programs if the product was any good?”
If advertisements kept to the facts, and only the facts, about a product or service, consumers could easily compare products and make an informed choice. Customer satisfaction would increase because products would more often meet expectations and lots of money would be saved, as many products would never be purchased. Companies, in turn, would make products that actually served people well or they would go out of existence.
Would truth in advertising be a fine day or a really boring day?