Tricks advertisers use
Claims like the one made by Top Breeze fans in the example in the sidebar are very common, and the following discussion is applicable to the myriad variations you are likely to encounter a hundred times a day. What’s wrong with Top Breeze’s claim? Why shouldn’t you just go and buy one of those fans? After all, they “move a lot more air than the top brand” and they are “quieter”!
The problem with Top Breeze’s claim and many like it is that it’s misleading, and is meant to be that way. The ad is making claims that sound like facts, but as far as you know they can be their opinion, or they could refer to something else, or may be making you think about something different than what the ad suggests. Think of all the unanswered questions that little ad raises: Maybe they do indeed move more air than the leading brand, but is that at all speeds?
- How do you know Top Breeze doesn’t move more air than the leading brand fan only when it’s set to the top speed whereas the leading brand fan is on the second to top speed?
- How do the fans compare when they are both set to each of their comparable speeds?
- Which brand is the leading brand?
The ad does not give us any of this information.