Truth in Advertising - unless it's political
- Category: Over The Edge
- Written by Nigel Aves
- Hits: 794
Sadly "Truth in Advertising" seems get thrown out the window as soon as the advertising is political. There have been outrageous claims made in political adverts, proven to be inaccurate, but still the adverts, run and run and run ......
Truth In Advertising
When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it's on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence.
The Federal Trade Commission enforces these truth-in-advertising laws, and it applies the same standards no matter where an ad appears - in newspapers and magazines, online, in the mail, or on billboards or buses. The FTC looks especially closely at advertising claims that can affect consumers' health or their pocketbooks - claims about food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, alcohol, and tobacco and on conduct related to high-tech products and the Internet. The FTC also monitors and writes reports about ad industry practices regarding the marketing of alcohol and tobacco.
When the FTC finds a case of fraud perpetrated on consumers, the agency files actions in federal district court for immediate and permanent orders to stop scams; prevent fraudsters from perpetrating scams in the future; freeze their assets; and get compensation for victims.
That is how all advertising in the USA is governed, or actually should be governed.
So why is this policy not applied to political advertising.
I could provide a list of "false news advertising", but nothing sums things up better than this one from the 2016 Donald Trump campain.
The ad that seems to best capture his approach to campaigning, asserts that Hillary Clinton got "filthy rich" from "criminals, dictators, countries that hate America." This commercial presents a remorselessly bleak picture of the Clinton Foundation, the non-profit organization founded by her husband.
To be sure, the foundation raises issues about the motives behind foreign contributions, especially when Hillary Clinton was Sec. of State and, there's some confusion over how much the Clinton Foundation spends on charitable programming primarily because the word "foundation" is in the name. Typically, a private foundation's primary activity is grantmaking, giving money to charities who actually do the work. But the Clinton Foundation operates as a public charity in that they run a majority of their programs themselves.
SO, it is also a charitable institution doing good works at home and abroad. The Clinton Foundation allocates about 80-90 percent of its expenditures to charitable programs, while the rest goes to fundraising and overhead. 80 to 90% being used for the real purpose of helping people by a charity is actually incredibly good. And as an aside. Many of the annoying phone calls you get, from charities, only give 10 to 15% of the money raised to the charity they are supposedly supporting. Check first!
From Tax records it has been proven that no money is collected by any of the Clintons working for the Foundation. Hillary Clinton's wealth comes mostly from six-figure speaking fees and seven-figure book deals, not from money derived from the foundation.
Here in Colorado Republican front-runner Walker Stapleton has been running a false ad in his campaign for governor for weeks now-and he's still running it. His opponents are accusing him of "lying."
That's a strong word. Is it fair to use? The falsehood from Stapleton took on a life of its own in the GOP primary to the point where one of his opponents, Vic Mitchell, cut an attack ad about it.
CLAIM: "Political insider Walker Stapleton got caught lying about his own record." And it's true and the advert is still running. In that advert, Stapleton claimed in his own voice: "I was the only Treasurer in the country with the courage to support Donald Trump's tax cuts."
In a 9NEWS Republican debate, Stapleton acknowledged that what his ad says isn't true.
What's more, he said it's not important that it isn't true. It's not important. Really.
So where does that leave us?
The problem is, no private citizen seems to be willing to look into these political adverts and realize that they have just been feed a ton of manure.
I should note that FCC regulations ban TV stations from rejecting candidate ads. "Legally qualified candidates" have the right of "use" of the public's airwaves, regardless of what they put in their adverts.
BUT the FTC needs to step up, do it's job, as it would if it was Ford advertising that the Pinto used to be the safest car in the world! But for some reason, these false political adverts are allowed to run, over and over again. And I suppose, if you hear it enough times, it must be true .... Fools.
Over and out.