Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Power of Persuasion

The one case I can readily bring to mind, from my brief period studying English law, is Carlill  vs  the Carbolic Smoke ball Company. It took place in about 1890 . the Carbolic Smoke Ball company claimed that their product would prevent influenza. Someone called Mrs Carlill used the Smoke balls and caught influenza and ended up suing them.  These days they would just proclaim that the Smoke Balls MAY prevent influenza.

I have always loved watching adverts on the television and many jingles have stuck in my head over the years. "Everyone?s a fruit and nut case  tra la la la la", "Nuts!Whole hazelnuts uhhh".
We used to have chocolate bars that would make us "big and strong"- (Milky bars)
A Mars a day would help you work, rest and play (my Mum never fell for that), and after a long harassing day you could "Relax with a Woodbines"-(cigarettes)

We think we are less easily misled now, but the other day I was watching children's television with my grandson and among all the many adverts for toys at Christmas, there was one for an enormous soft toy rabbit with a plastic carrot. the little girl in the advert looked about 7.  How many people would ever think of getting such a thing !!With all due respect to the rabbit.

Some adverts are very ambiguous, like a shampoo that is for greasy hair, or a shampoo that is for glossy, silky hair. They cover all their options now and at the end of some adverts they often have a voice, very quickly warning you ,of any terrible dangers and potentially harmful side-effects.

It used to seem, that adverts aimed at Germans were full of facts and figures, those aimed at Italians were full of pretty girls and glamour, and those aimed at Brits were full of humour.

One of the adverts we used to enjoy as children was the Chimpanzees tea party or the Nescafè one that went on for years telling a whole love story between two neighbours.

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