The Truth in Advertising

Most of us have seen at least a dozen different toothpaste commercials that claim, "Three out of four dentists recommend...." You may have wondered, as I did, how each of these claims could be possibly be true. They are based on statistical evidence, so why are there such varied results? If you listen to advertising, there seems to be no clear consensus on which health-related products--aspirin, cough syrup, antihistamines--are the best.

They are all recommended by 3 out of 4 professionals. Is it possible they are making false claims? The truth is that they are all telling the truth. When it comes to marketing a health product, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is always watching to make sure advertisers never tell a lie. Statements such as _____ reduces the risk of cancer, ______ removes harmful toxins from your water, or _____ fights plaque and reduces gingivitis, must all be substantiated. In other words, the products must do what they claim. To avoid the wrath of the FTC, it is always best to tell the truth about your product or service, especially in the health industry. But what is truth? In subjective terms it is difficult to discern.

However, the FTC has many guidelines to help you find truth in your advertising:

*Before you run an ad, you have to have a "reasonable basis" for your claims. A "reasonable basis" is objective evidence that supports the claim. At a minimum, an advertiser must have the level of evidence that it claims to have. The statement "two out of three doctors recommend..." must be supported by a reliable survey.

*If the ad isn't specific, the FTC looks at several factors to determine what level of proof is necessary, including what experts in the field think is needed to support the claim.

*Ads that make health or safety claims must be supported by "competent and reliable scientific evidence" - tests, studies, or other scientific evidence that has been evaluated by people qualified to interpret it. Any tests or studies must be conducted using methods that experts in the field deem acceptable.

These are just a few of the guidelines to consider when making an advertising claim. But don't be too worried. As long as you tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, there is no reason to keep looking over your shoulder. Jane Jarvis knows the advantage of truth in advertising, and isn't afraid to use it.

About The Author

Jarvis is co-founder of cancercuresecrets.com, offering a controversial ebook that details the cancer cures you've never heard of, and the reasons you've never heard of them. To check out this revolutionary ebook, visit http://www.cancercuresecrets.com

[email protected]

In The News:

What Digital Advertising Gets Wrong  Harvard Business Review
Advertising predictions for 2021  The Financial Express

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