Issue – Protecting Consumer

Consumers need to be protected from companies that make deceptive claims in their advertising. However companies should always be allowed to make truthful claims, even if those claims could be misunderstood by some customers

Author states that consumers should be protected from deceptive advertisements but at the same time agrees to allow companies to produce such deceptive advertisement as long as their facts are true. In my opinion, the author presents a self contradicting opinion in two sentences. If consumers are to be protected from deceptive advertising then companies should be refrained from using truthful but deceptive facts. 

For example, several toothpaste manufacturers claim to be number 1 in market and air such advertisements on TV, radio and internet. However they never specify on which basis they claim to be number 1. Companies do not specify whether their claim is based on market share. They do not specify whether results of survey include all strata of society. Consumers usually get attracted by such boastful claims and end up buying product of such companies. Companies can claim that their facts were true however less quality product hurts consumer regardless. Hence, the author’s first statement is contradicted. 

Another example, several electronic appliance companies advertise products with guarantees up to 5 years. However they never specify the tens of conditions that apply before consumer can avail such guarantees. Unaware of such conditions many consumers buy the products. When the products malfunction and consumers claim for the benefit of the guarantee the companies refuse to comply citing numerous conditions in agreement. Here too, I agree that companies did include the conditions in agreement but they never specified conditions in advertisements that enticed the consumer to buy products. Again the purpose of protecting consumer is defeated. 

In addition, the companies often advertise products and services with their starting price range excluding the several optional services charges. For instance, almost all major car manufacturers shows advertisements of their car models with full accessories and uses these accessories to claim superior than the other cars in market, often at cheaper price! However when a consumer goes to buy a car he realizes that all the accessories shown in advertisement do not come with original model and he has to pay another few hundred dollars to buy his dream car. 

Each of the abovementioned instance shows that if companies are allowed to make deceitful yet truthful claim, it’s more likely to harm the consumer in longer run. Such permission, as stated earlier, contradicts the first statement by the author. Therefore, in my opinion, the companies should not be allowed to make such misleading claims that can hurt the consumer. 


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