Monday, October 30, 2006

False Advertisement?

As bloggers, we often state our opinions on subjects without necessarily possessing the expertise we perhaps should have. Personally, I think this is absolutely fine. Nobody expects us to be experts in any particular subject, we're not claiming to be, and as long as we're not making claims that have no basis, I don't see a problem with it.

I do think a different standard applies to advertisements. If you are presenting an ad for a product or idea, you should have some understanding of what you're presenting. That doesn't mean a pro athlete should understand the science of a product, as he isn't expected to do so. But if - for example - someone were filming an ad about a political issue or amendment, they should at least know what the amendment says. At the very least, they should know the main theme and some important details of the amendment.

Last week, there was a hubbub over Michael J. Fox's filming an ad in Missouri. This hubbub may or may not have been warranted; likely not. What is more disturbing, however, is that Fox admitted to ABC that he doesn't know exactly what the amendment says. While he does get credit for being honest about this, this is a bit troubling. In his interview with ABC, Fox states that he is against cloning - which is the same reason Jim Talent has given for opposing the amendment. Fox doesn't believe that the amendment would actually end up allowing cloning, but admits:
"I don't think that's true. ... I have to qualify it by saying I'm not qualified to speak on the page-to-page content of the initiative. Although, I am quite sure that I'll agree with it in spirit, I don't know. On full disclosure, I haven't read it, and that's why I didn't put myself up for it distinctly," Fox said.
Yet he backed the Democratic candidate based on this issue. I don't understand how that's honest advertising.

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