Are advertisers juicing like pro athletes?

11 Jan

straw in orangeIn order to be competitive, advertisers and athletes often operate on the fringes of what is considered legal practices.

Whereas some athletes dip into performance enhancing drugs on the sly to boost their results (and not to besmirch all sports here as I am thinking primarily of baseball, swimming, tennis, track and field, football, hockey, golf, cycling or any sport that requires endurance, explosive power or super-human recovery), some advertisers turn to over-claim, creative reshaping of the truth and outright lies.

No point denying it: it happens. Regulatory bodies are in place to challenge the ethics of both groups but many fouls go unchallenged.

Often the risk of detection is considered acceptable for the rewards. But being caught out soils the reputation of every other competitor and creates a cynical and distrustful public.

They also share a similar strategy if detected: deny, deny, deny.

Some athletes get caught red-handed and have no choice but to recant or do time. But you will never see an advertiser come clean. They will spin a web of innocence until the public either forgets or votes with their feet.

Marion Jones before and after

Disgraced American sprinter Marion Jones

The most recent advertiser to come under scrutiny is Tropicana orange juice, a subsid of PepsiCo. They are being sued, surprisingly, by a consumer for misrepresenting their product as “100% pure and natural”, when, it’s alleged, they actually add aromas and flavours. Tropicana has even used the recognizable imagery of a straw sticking into an orange to get their all-natural claim to stick in the public mind.

Reading Tropicana’s response to news of the lawsuit will give you a sense of how advertisers might manipulate the truth.

I have no idea if they are being deceitful or not. That’s for the judge – and you – to decide.

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2 Responses to “Are advertisers juicing like pro athletes?”

  1. Anonymous January 12, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Hey Doug, Love the new look. I have a question for you. Do you have any control over those ads placed at the bottom of your post? After reading your post on Tropicana there was an ad for Triscuits and it occured to me that it could have been any food product including Tropicana OJ. Just wondering…and still reading.
    louisa

  2. Doug Brown January 12, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Thanks for the positive feedback Louisa. How’s life in the Soo? We have no control over the advertising messages. The only way to escape them is to upgrade to a Premium WordPress blog. But we like advertising. 😉

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