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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Basic Biittner: Truth in Advertising?

Monday, August 21, 2006

I just heard a commercial on the radio which used the word "free" so many times I lost count. The "free" deal was something like this: Get THREE free cellphones with the purchase of any regularly - priced phone. So, for the price of a phone you get three FREE phones, too - and, oh yeah - it's all subject to agreeing to a two-year contract for services.

While this may indeed be a great offer --- it's hardly "free." That word, as I understand it, means without cost. The price of a phone and two years of wireless service, at whatever the monthly cost is, is not exactly free.

This overuse of the word "free" to entice buyers to sign up for their product is not exactly a new practice, by any means... But, hey, if you're going to be giving something away for free, then don't charge me anything!

This is just one of my advertising pet peeves. Another one that really bugs me is the term "Easy-opening," as applied to product containers. Easy opening for whom, I might ask?

I don't know how many times I've been frustrated trying to open CDs, DVDs, sandwich meat packages, "blister packs" of pills, you name it.

I think these packages were all determined to be "easy-opening" only after the inventor of the method spent countless hours inventing the method, and practicing it until - for him (or her), at least, it was "easy."

As Aaron Neville once sang - "Tell It Like It Is."

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner