I think that the most enduring truth about human nature is ‘give ’em an inch and they’ll take a yard’.
With that in mind, I thought it might be time to bring up the Cheryl Cole L’Oreal ads (incidentally, Cheryl Tweets in a strong Novocastrian accent):
It’s an ad for some kind of hair tonic that contains the legal line ‘styled with some natural hair extensions.’
So it’s official: legals are a way of lying your arse so far off that it will immediately end up at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.
Let’s look at that line again:
‘Styled with’ is very probably a bullshit way of saying ‘jam-packed with to the extent that Chezza is pretty much wearing a wig, giving you not the first fucking clue as to the efficacy of the product we are advertising’
‘Some natural hair extensions’ means that 99% of the hair you see may be extensions, or that ‘some may be natural, but the others are synthetic’.
Basically, nothing you are watching necessarily pertains to the properties of the product we are selling and just to rub your nose in it, we are admitting this on the ad. Or, to put it another way, if you believe anything about this ad you are a fucking moron because it might as well be an ad for the latest Robin Reliant that shows a Lamborghini Gallardo burning round corners behind a legal line that says ‘product shown may differ somewhat to product being advertised you thickheaded, moronic, brainless piece of excrement. We have so little respect for you that we believe we will get away with this ginormous fucking lie. How does that make you feel, you stupid, patronised shitwipe?’
But is this such a bad thing? On the surface, yes, but let’s just think about it for a moment.
If you are dumb enough to buy this product after reading this admission of bullshittery (and, by the way, the same line appears on the posters) then you get what you deserve, you mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, lobotomised arse-brained fuckwit.
But the real idiots here are the ASA, BACC or whoever else has allowed such obvious mendacity to pass through their sievelike approval procedure. I have said this before, but either legal lines are there to be read so that they can protect the public from evil, shifty purveyors of snakeoil, or they don’t matter at all.
Obviously, it’s the second. I mean, who the fuck reads all the terms and conditions that blight the lower half of the screen for even the most innocuous ad? Hardly anybody. They are deliberately placed and written to be as unobtrusive and illegible as possible. The rules for their application insist that they appear at the kind of height and weight that can only be read by a genius with eyesight of a magpie looking through an electron microscope.
So why bother?
If I might make a suggestion, why not simply have ‘terms and conditions apply’ on every ad that isn’t for something obvious like Coke or Marmite, then let the public have a look for themselves?
The current system is licensed lying that gives no useful or truthful information other than the fact that the approval bodies are toothless and brainless and that advertisers and their agencies will, given the opportunity, pull as much wool over the eyes of their potential customers as they can get away with.
We should be so proud.