Monday, April 26, 2010

Disclaimers

The use of written disclaimers is understandable to anyone familiar with the climate of litigation in this country. Their language is reasonably clear, and the purpose of their use as a loss prevention device is self-evident.

Then there are those noxious messages that are virtually incomprehensible, which appear after an advertisement on radio. The advertisers find people who can read quickly, and then use technology to reduce the space between the gabbled words even further.

Since the purpose of these messages is to protect the advertiser from claims, surely they should be understandable? One might hope - vainly, it seems - that the Advertising Council would come up with some form of self-regulation, so that these disclaimers could really fulfill their purpose, instead of cocking a virtual snook at the listener. The greed of the advertisers is made clear by these incomprehensible messages: the truth is that the advertisers don't want us to be able to understand what is being said. If these messages were spoken more slowly, the advertisers would have to abbreviate their sales pitches, which they would obviously be reluctant to do.

How long will we put up with such nonsense, before Congress is forced to consider legislation designed to prevent this abuse?

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